vessel is about how we gain and maintain stability in the unstable world of contested narratives, alternative facts and irreversible consequences.

The text, offered through a polyphony of four diverse voices, provokes contemplation of agency, privilege and representation by placing the domestic within the global and the private within the collective.

Vessel takes the medieval practice of Anchoritism, which saw women choosing a life of confinement within a locked cell housed within a church, to ask the across-centuries question of where can spaciousness be found?

Vessel will be performed by a diverse cast of four women - Karlina Grace-Paseda, Tess Agus, Angela Clerkin and Kailing Fu. The performance uses creative captioning throughout, designed by digital artist Giles Thacker, and will bring together lighting and set designer Ben Pacey, choreographer Seke Chimutengwende and sound designer Owen Crouch with costumes by Holly Murray and dramaturgy by Jonathan Burrows.

The Cast

Kailing Fu originally trained at the University of Singapore and then completed an MA in Performance Making at Goldsmiths London. She has particular expertise in Butoh having trained with Yoshito Ohno in Japan and Marie-Gabrielle Roti here in the UK. She recently appeared in the Marras.tarrab production of Roller at London’s Barbican Centre.

Angela Clerkin is an actor, writer and theatre maker with an exemplary and extensive c.v. having worked with many fantastic people and theatre companies including: Rose English, Neil Bartlett, Bryony Lavery, Julia Bardsley, Katie Mitchell, Improbable, Chris Goode & Co, Shunt, Coney and many more. Her own most recent production The Secret Keeper was seen at London’s Oval House.

Tess Agus is a director, writer, performer and recent graduate of the MA in Directing programme at the Guildford School of Acting. She is co director of company Bee in My Beanie.

Karlina Grace-Paseda Karlina Grace-Paṣeda was a former professional dancer whose career pinnacled with the award-winning top ten 90’s club band ‘JX’. Since becoming an actor Karlina has performed at The National Theatre where she was directed by acclaimed theatre directors Rufus Norris and Richard Eyre, performed the one-woman show ‘Sarai’ at Arcola Theatre and the 5-star production ‘Custody’ created by Urbain Hayo & written by Tom Wainwright. Most recently her work includes new film ‘Distant Teardrops’ by acclaimed director N.Padamakumar and as choreographer for theatre company Interrupt the Routine latest production of ‘The Gin Chronicles’.


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The feelings that words create, rather than their meaning, come to the fore in this quietly revealing piece
— Miriam Gillinson Mon 12 Nov 2018, the Guardian

Four peaceful-looking women sit on chairs in a cramped stage space. Grainy light seeps through three small windows. An orange screen above the women is filled with a stream of projected words, which the women recite. The phrasing is fractured, overlapping and untethered. Glimmers of meaning occasionally wriggle free, but meaning isn’t really the point. Vessel is a chance for the audience to step away from reality and get lost, perhaps escape, together.

Read the full review at the Guardian online

MacLaine crafts a sentence the way a composer crafts a melody: subtly changing tone, timbre, pitch and emotion through the full spectrum of the actresses’ voices.
— Natasha Sutton Williams - November 17 2018, Disability Arts Online

In vessel, Sue MacLaine has created a quietly hypnotic show utilising the bodies and voices of four different women from different backgrounds, races and experiences. With their voices she composes a musical quartet using words that repeat, overlap and interweave. Sometimes a single voice is heard, at other times all four voices create a polyphony of sound.

Read the full review at Disability Arts Online


Other productions

Sue MacLainevessel