Photo by Paul Blakemore from the production of ‘vessel’

Dr Mari Hughes-Edwards’ academic work on anchoritism, one of the earliest forms of Christian solitary living which saw men and women withdraw from medieval society in order to lead an intensely contemplative life, has inspired a new play.

vessel, by the Sue MacLaine Company, is on at Battersea Arts Centre until 24th November and can be seen at Edge Hill University on December 4th.

GenSex, the interdisciplinary research group founded by Mari in 2007, hosted at Edge Hill, which promotes global research into gender and sexuality studies, will also be running an event that day. Mari will introduce the practice of anchoritism, drawing on her recent monograph, Reading Medieval Anchoritism, and there will be readings from, and creative reactions to, MacLaine’s play and Kieran Wyatt’s new poetry collection Pelican.

Mari said:

‘It has been such fantastic experience working with such a talented writer and these four amazing actresses and seeing their dedication to recreating the challenges involved in medieval – and modern – solitude’.  She continued: ‘Ostensibly the world is more and more interconnected, but in the chaos of that, we continue to long for peace and a silence that can elude us.  My work, and both MacLaine’s play and Wyatt’s verse suggest that silence carries significant power and meaning and that it can also be a political act’.

Click here for more information and to book your place.