Vanessa-Faye co-founded Boileroom in 2006 after running a research and development phase at the Playground Studio, a network for devising artists which provided us with a large rehearsal space in London, and which awarded us two grants with the Arts Council England.

The Boileroom project stretched over three years, with several showings and performances. Each show was a window into the creative process itself, and a vibrant theatrical experience in its own right. Boileroom use a laboratory approach in the rehearsal room, using historical and contextual research, recording dialogues with members of the community, and inviting specialists from the fields of science and others who might not consider themselves artists, to encourage unexpected collaborations and performance.
Following a performance of our work, Boileroom won the Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award for bold, innovative and challenging theatre. The show The Terrific Electric went on to enjoy a two week sell-out run at The Barbican Pit in 2007.

In 2016, Boileroom joined with Tamasha playwright Bushra Laskar to collaborate on Sanguine Night, a new play which deals with the legacy of the Indian Bhopal disaster. Awarded the Park Theatre Script Acceleraator 2016, a full script was developed and had successful scratch showings at RADA festival and Cambridge New Writing Festival.



Sanguine Night, developed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India in 2017, explores the moral and personal impact of a Bhopal-style disaster on an individual family. It was conceived at New York Theatre Workshop in New York, while playwright Bushra Laskar was a NYTW Playwright Fellow, and Kali Theatre Company, with a rehearsed reading at Tristan Bates Theatre in February 2015 . 



Sanguine: 1. optimistic, especially in a bad situation. 2. lit. blood-red. 3. arch. bloody or blood-thirsty.

'How can we make up for so much tragedy?'
On a faded grand estate in central India, a family of five women are determined to survive, surrounded by an apocalyptic landscape ravaged by a terrible accident. A response to the rarely-discussed 1984 Bhopal Union Carbide disaster - the largest man-made industrial accident of modern times - this show creates a surreal world which resonates with all cultures affected by globalization, combining Western music with Indian folklore and dance.

Sanguine Night is supported by Arts Council England, Old Vic New Voices, Derby Theatre (In Good Company), The Park Theatre (Script Accelerator), Ovalhouse and RADA Festival.

Sanguine Night was presented as a scratch sharing as part of RADA Festival (London) and Cambridge Junction New Writing Festival.

r&D Cast & team

Written by Bushra Laskar

Director & Dramaturg : Vanessa-Faye Stanley

Park theatre R&D Cast: Sakuntala Ramanee, Medhavi Patel, Nyla Levy, Norma Dixit, Catherine Mobley, Manorma Joisi

RADA R&D Cast: Aasiya Shah, Vinny Dhillon, Manorma Joisi, Catherine Mobley, Ulkira Krishnamurti, Norma Dixit

Video Designer Angela di Tomaso, Sound: Albi Gravener, Assistant Director Mariana Aristizabal
Producers (RADA festival)  Boileroom, Vanessa-Faye Stanley; Co-Producer Hannah Tookey



ABOUT THE Terrific electric

The Terrific Electric is an investigation into the relationship generations foster with technology. It celebrates the birth of the electrical era and looks at how the mechanics of invention shaped a new perspective of our bodies in relation to the outside world. The Terrific Electric questions our relationship with electricity and the sublime, lifts the bonnet off the engine of progress and pokes at what makes us human. 

Three women living in quiet, eternal seclusion in a Victorian household, hear the alien thump of progress advancing on their doorstep. A flamboyant doctor arrives with the future on his heels. As the house begins to swing with dreams and machines of the ages, their home fills with wires, mobile phones… and karaoke.

Read the Timeout review

Read the British Theatre Guide review

Supported by The Playground  and The Samuel Beckett Theatre Award 


Daniela Garcia Casilda, Seiriol Davies, Sophie Hunter, Megan Heffernan,Tom Lyall, Vanessa-Faye Stanley.
Sound/composer: Albi Gravener, Lighting designCis O’BoyleSetFiametta HorvatCostumeSuncana DulicDramaturg: Seiriol Davies.
Guest specialists: Dr Julien Gaer, Professor Gernot Akemann, Louise Stern, Benedetto Pietromarchi, Linda Kerr-Scott, Marina Warner.

Directed by Vanessa-Faye Stanley and Sophie Hunter
Based on an original idea by Vanessa-Faye Stanley. Devised by the company.

Beguiling, moving, and outrageously funny… Boileroom’s production is experimental theatre at it’s multi-layered best
— British Theatre Guide about The Terrific Electric


There are moments of impressive stage invention that evoke the transformative wonders of electricity
— London Evening Standard


Boileroom aim to make work which surprises, delights and encourages the audience to reflect: a theatre of humour, dream and wonder. In a world where technology is fast making physical proximity redundant, the theatre is an important meeting place for shared live experience - a place to question what is taken for granted, where we can play on the accepted perceptions of the everyday world we live in. Inspired by the furious imagination of the Victorian era of invention where anything seemed possible, Boileroom create a laboratory-like rehearsal room where a range of specialists and artists investigate mankind’s reinvention through technology. Real testimonies from the public are woven into the sound-scape and performance of our work, a collaboration with a heart surgeon leads to the choreography of a surreal operation, a car mechanic and a sculptor work with our costume designer to create a pylon which can be worn as a crinoline, inspired by the description of pylons in the poetry of Stephen Spender: “Bare like nude, giant girls which have no secret.” The fruit of all our collaborative sessions is a resonant theatrical world with a rich surreal aesthetic where artist, scientist and audience share a collective dream on human endeavour. The performance has a highly visual and physically articulate style, using live music and dance.