Rachel Bagshaw and China Plate present

The Shape of the Pain

'I don't have to remember being in pain. I'm not sure that's something we can do. And in my case, it's irrelevant. You can't remember something that's still happening.' 




About the show

China Plate presents

The Shape of the Pain

Developed by Rachel Bagshaw and Chris Thorpe 

Written by Chris Thorpe 

Directed by Rachel Bagshaw

With an original score by Melanie Wilson


“And there he was. Right person, right place, right time. Tick, tick, tick.”

Fringe First award-winning production about love, perception and constant, relentless pain.

This tour de force performance from Hannah McPake sees one woman attempt to articulate her experience of pain. Physical pain with no apparent cause. Also, she’s met someone, and they really want to make this work. 

With spellbinding OFFIE Award nominated video design, sounds and words are weaved together to explore how we talk about pain and love - and if we can ever do either in a way someone else will truly understand.

All performances are captioned and audio described.

Funded by The Wellcome Trust and supported using public funds from The National Lottery through Arts Council England. Commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre / New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich. Supported by artsdepot.



 “This is an exercise in empathy – and it is exhilarating theatre.”The Guardian


 “The masterful combination of sound design, lighting and projections coinciding with McPake’s performance offers an overwhelming glimpse into a life unwillingly shared with pain.”The Edinburgh Festival Magazine


 “This one-woman show is a smart, funny and far from disconsolate inquiry into the knowability of someone else’s experience. The sound design and visuals have a pulsing power.”Sunday Times

The Shape of the Pain has been adapted into a new short film, screened as part of the BBC's Culture in Quarantine Series - Filmed in Lockdown. It is available to watch on BBC iPlayer: https://bit.ly/WhereIGoFilm

Cast & Creative Team

Performed by Hannah McPake

Director | Rachel Bagshaw

Writer | Chris Thorpe

Original Score | Melanie Wilson

Designer | Madeleine Girling

Video & Lighting Designer | Joshua Pharo

Movement Director | Raquel Meseguer

Access/Audio Description Consultant | Michael Achtman

Production Manager | Helen Mugridge

Associate Director | Rachel Lincoln

Sound Associate | Kirsty Gillmore

Video & Lighting Associate | Sarah Readman

Artist Wellbeing Practitioner | Louise Platt

Produced by China Plate