China Plate pain play adapted into short film for BBC

Published: 21 August 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Hannah McPake in Rachel Bagshaw’s play The Shape of the Pain Credit: The Other Richard

West Midlands-based independent producer China Plate has adapted its play The Shape of the Pain which opened in Edinburgh in 2017 into a short film which gives a “powerful and intimate insight into living with a rare, synesthetic chronic pain condition”.

Conceived and directed by Rachel Bagshaw and written by Chris Thorpe, Where I Go (When I Can’t Be Where I Am) interweaves Bagshaw’s personal experiences of living with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) with a fictional love affair.

Bagshaw said, “experiencing the isolation of lockdown chimed strongly with my experience of pain and I wanted to find a filmic language to reflect this; to express what can't be described in words through visuals and sound score.

“It's been a hugely collaborative venture with the team working remotely across the UK. This is my first film and making it during lockdown has been an extraordinary experience—a steep learning curve and one I've been grateful to go through with the team from the original theatre show.”

The 18-minute film reunites the original The Shape of the Pain creative team: performer Hannah McPake, writer Chris Thorpe, Melanie Wilson (sound) and Joshua Pharo (video design). It incorporates fully integrated captioning. The Shape of the Pain had runs at Battersea Arts Centre and Wilton's Music Hall as well as going on a national tour.

Where I Go (When I Can’t Be Where I Am) was commissioned as part of the BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine initiative. It is available now on BBC iPlayer.