Northern Ireland receives less arts funding than any other area of the country, but artists there are continuing to create outstanding work. View From Here, a company dedicated to amplifying under-represented voices in UK theatre, transfers Jade City, by Belfast writer Alice Malseed, to London next month during this year’s VAULT Festival.
After a run of sell-out shows for its world premiere at EastSide Arts Festival in Belfast, Jade City comes to VAULT Festival for six performances from 6 to 10 February 2019.
Jade City is an hour-long piece of new-writing from award-winning playwright Alice Malseed exploring the friendship between two young men in East Belfast. Using a live electronic score, rich language and powerful theatrical imagery, the two-hander is a delicate and disarming examination of the zeitgeist issues of sexual assault, male mental health, alcoholism, class and male suicide.
East Belfast lads Sas and Monty are trapped in this place, and in their heads. Their friendship orbits around a damaging and violent event from their past. An imaginative and playful ‘game’ is the only way they can process the mess – it’s playful and childish, and allows them to explore their own lives and truths, to devastating effect.
Jade City stars Brendan Quinn as Sass and Barry Calvert as Monty. It’s directed by Katherine Nesbitt, with movement by David Quinn, sound by Michael Mormecha and dramaturgy by Sarah Baxter. It’s co-produced by Alice Malseed and View From Here.
Isabel Sharman, producer of View From Here, says: “We are very excited to bring Jade City and the incredibly talented Alice Malseed to London. Performing the show at VAULT will give audiences a fantastic experience and is an ideal setting for this dark, intimate production.”
Author Alice Malseed comments:
“It is going to be electrifying to see this play staged at VAULT. The work talks sensitively and delicately about a brutally damaging event in two men’s lives, and explores aspects of masculinity and mental health, which I believe affect many communities and individuals in Belfast.”
Jade City was originally developed at EastSide Arts and funded by The Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund, with support from British Council Northern Ireland and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The initial development was supported by a Jerwood Performing Arts Micro Bursary.
The following video was created for the play’s crowdfunding campaign to give insights into the production background and creative process.
Alice Malseed (Playwright) studied at Goldsmiths and is part of Lyric Theatre’s New Playwrights Programme and BBC Writersroom. Her first play Jellyfish was longlisted for the Verity Bargate Award 2015 and shortlisted for BBC Scriptroom 12. Her second play it’s getting harder and harder for me sold out the MAC Belfast in May 2018.
Katherine Nesbitt (Director) has previous credits that include The Quarry (Barbican), boom (Theatre503), The Ocean is Downhill From Everywhere (Imaginate), When the Rain Stops Falling (Tron). Assistant Director credits include Kiln Theatre, Bath Ustinov, Hampstead and Traverse.
Barry Calvert (Monty) trained at East 15 and Birmingham School of Acting. Credits include The Quarry by Joseph Corr (Barbican), Awaiting Revolution (Chris Lane Productions) and Leaves on the Line (The Off Cuts Festival). Brendan Quinn (Sass) graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin. Theatre credits include Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Smock Alley Dublin), The Tain (Amadan), and Honk (Grand Opera House Belfast).
About View From Here
View From Here is a producing collective – run by Philippa Mannion, Katherine Nesbitt and Isabel Sharman – which is dedicated to amplifying voices underrepresented in UK Theatre and sharing untold stories from across the country in response to current issues.
The company has staged a series of regional festivals, each presenting a selection of local new writing found by working with West Yorkshire Playhouse, Playwrights’ Studio Scotland and Tinderbox. The company is now focused on producing full-length productions that launch in London but “keep London looking outward, engaging with areas, themes and stories that can strike a chord with Londoners as well as UK audiences”.
As part of the 2019 Vault Festival, Jade City runs from 6 to 10 February at The Vaults, Leake Street, London SE1 7NN. Performances (one hour) run nightly at 9pm, with a Sunday matinee at 4.30pm. Tickets are priced £12. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!