The Clod Ensemble
Clod Ensemble
Whats On

The Red Chair
Red Ladies
An Anatomie in
Four Quarters

Silver Swan

Under Glass

It's A Small House...
For One Night Only
Kiss My Echo
Lady Grey
Miss Risque
The Overcoat
Musical Scenes
Feast During the Plague
Pierrot Lunaire
Songs For The Dead
Other Concerts

performing Medicine
Extravagant Acts
Education & Training publications

Red Ladies

Photos: Red Ladies Paparazzi

Who are these women? And what do they want?

Red Ladies is an ongoing performance piece featuring a group of identically dressed women.

Red Ladies keep an eye on things. They observe. They witness. They gather evidence. They place sites of political importance and key landmarks under surveillance. They watch the watchers.

"Brilliantly powerful; at once angry, funny, defiant and euphoric.
The Red Ladies are a gorgeous enigma"The Guardian

"Choreographed with military precision and pulled off with admirable panache"Metro

"'Clod Ensemble's witty new work, Red Ladies, is not plot driven so much as post modern mosaic... a reference strewn meditation on the crowd or dramatic chorus"Time Out



Directed by Suzy Willson
Music by Paul Clark
Designed by Sarah Blenkinsop
Lit by Hansjorg Schmidt
Film edited by Helen Marshall
Words by Peter Oswald


Produced by Fuel in association
with the Onassis Progamme


The Red Ladies are

Red Ladies Spring 2008

Nadia Albina, Emma Bonnici, Zoe Bywater, Irene Hardy, Kazuko Hohki, Lucy Joy, Sachi Kimura, Daniella Marshall, Greta Mendez,Silvia Mercuriali, Victoria Moseley, Eve Pearce, Ramona Nagabczynski, Sabina Netherclift, Leisa Rea, Heidi Rustgaard, Calina de la Mare, Karen Hutt

Red Ladies Spring 2006

Sarah Belcher, Sachi Kimura, Catrin Osbourne, Moss Beynon Juckes, Syreeta Kumar, Simone Saunders, Christine Collins, Silvia Mercuriali, Leisa Rea, Kazuko Hohki, Victoria Moseley, Hannah Ringham, Tamera Howard, Emily Mytton, Mel Wilson, Karen Hutt, Gaynor James, Janina Kopinska, Nicole Lyons, Calina de la Mare, Natalie Rozario, Kathryn Symon

Red Ladies Trafalgar 2005

Zoe Bywater, Sarah Cameron, Ann-Marie Cavanagh, Sarah Corbett, Victoria Daniels, Efi Dementi, Vanessa Earl, Jane Guernier, Li Leng, Steffi Mueller, Sabina Netherclift, Adura Onashile, Cindy Oswin, Ruth Ross, Kate Goldsmith, Selina Leleu, Fiona Mclean, Bethan Ecclestone, Ruth Woodhams, Jennifer Parkinson, Audrey Albert

Red Ladies Paparazzi

Manuel Vason, Helen Marshall, Peter Arnold, Carlotto Destro, Calina de la Mare, Natalie Jones, Tanya Leal, Andrew Ormerod, Tim Payne, Neil Scotten, Karim Secker, Emma Stenning, Adam Weymouth, Katherine Williams, Jessica Jordan Wrench

Red Ladies on Tour

2008 Operation Saudades

Missions in Porto and at the Serralves Museum, Portugal

2008 Operation Goldfinch

Missions on the Mall. Theatrical Demonstration at the Institutute of Contemporary Arts

2008 Operation Isis

Missions in Oxford. Theatrical Demonstration at the Old Fire Station

2007 Operation Unicorn

LCACE Conference London

2006 Operation Jungle Gardinia

PSI Conference: Performing Rights at Queen Mary , University of London

2006 Operation Riverrat: Westminster

With headquarters at the Bullion Room, Hackney Empire

2006 Operation Godiva

Missions in Coventry with headquarters at Warwick Arts Centre

2005 Operation Dragonfly

Trafalgar Square: British Architecture Week

Red Ladies started its life in 2005 at The National Theatre Studio.

Supported by

The Arts Council, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, The Hackney Empire, Fierce Festival, Warwick Arts Centre, Awards for All, the Hinrichesen Foundation and the PRS foundation. Developed at the National Theatre Studio


Red Ladies has two elements:

Outside ‘missions’ Sequences of performance that take place in the streets and buildings of a city
Indoor Performances - a one hour theatrical demonstration in five movements in a theatre or performance space within the city.


The Outdoor Interventions

Each mission is a unique response to the architecture and the people of the city.

"It was the kind of absurd, inspired happening that makes the city come alive. Keep an eye out."The Guardian

When the Red Ladies arrive in a city, they transform it, appearing on rooftops and in doorways, in places of political or architectural interest, commandeering their own limousines, their own brass band, once even their own helicopter.

"A sense of excitement hangs in the air. Mysterious women in red head scarves and sunglasses dot the landscape and breathe life into London’s East End." Metro

The Indoor Performance

The audience are invited into the Red Ladies temporary HQ, where they witness an hour-long work, which unfolds as a mosaic of images. They place world events - war, floods, violence in the context of the everyday: they knit, they eat, they wait. Their movements echo the patterns of a flock of birds, a herd of bison, a swarm of bees.

"Despite the inspirational political rhetoric piped in the background - the action does not culminate in self-satisfied, post-feminist celebratory mode: the wit and realism of the piece means that the Red Ladies escape from the underworld not to preach their manifesto, but to enunciate their recipe for red onion tart… it may well be that companies such as Clod Ensemble have found that one way to understand our communality in a world of fractured, virtual communication is to view our behaviour from afar and to present it for what it is - orchestrated crowds who come together much more frequently than we generally realize."Dance Theatre Journal

See What's On for upcoming performances.


A chapter about Red Ladies by Suzy Willson and Helen Eastman has just been published: Red Ladies: Who Are They and What Do They Want in The Ancient Dancer in the Modern World (ed.) Fiona Macintosh. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Available here.