Red Ladies


Written by Heydon Prowse
14 Tuesday 14th April 2009

Please introduce the Clod Ensemble and tell us what you do.
The Clod Ensemble was created by myself and composer Paul Clark. Over the last ten years, the company has created a huge range of performance projects, workshops and events across the UK and internationally. Productions include Under Glass, Silver Swan and Greed. We make performances for traditional theatre spaces, festivals and galleries as well as creating projects and curating work in places where art does not usually or regularly happen including medical schools and centres for the elderly.

What/who are the Red Ladies?

Red Ladies are an international phenomenon - there are millions of them. When they are ‘on duty’ they dress identically in red headscarves, black trench coats, red stilettos, red vanity cases and sunglasses. Their ‘rules of engagement’ are to interrupt the everyday, to provoke thought, to amuse, and to transform the meaning of the spaces they inhabit. A Red Lady must keep an eye on things, observe how human beings interact with each other, to witness, to decode.

They draw attention to the way in which public space is monitored, they watch the watchers and count surveillance cameras. They gather information about the movements of groups. They record speech patterns. They document abusive or bigoted behavior. They draw attention to the architecture of a city. Sometimes they lament. They encourage people to ask questions: who are they? What do they want? What do they mean? Why are they dressed like that? Red Ladies pose questions about group identity, difference and otherness.

Are they dangerous?

It depends on your point of view

What were they up to at the London Library this weekend?
Some of the Red Ladies were at the British Library this weekend to witness an event celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

What is next for the Red Ladies and Clod Ensemble en general?
Red Ladies have not yet revealed the location of their next rendezvous. For updates join the Clod Ensemble mailing list.

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