Jade City


Jade City was part of VAULT Festival 2019.

Performed by Barry Calvert and Brendan Quinn
Written by Alice Malseed
Directed by Katherine Nesbitt

Sas and Monty are trapped in this place, and in their heads. From the working men’s to Monty’s empty flat, their only escape comes from The Game: as bin men finding stolen cash under the mattress, as seagulls poaching lurchers or just themselves knocking back breakfast cocktails in Jamaica.

Only Sas doesn’t want to play anymore. He wants to talk. About girls, his head and that summer they can’t forget.

Jade City is a lyrical and disarming piece exploring the friendship between two young east Belfast men, a game they’ve played since childhood and one night that binds them together.

The performance is an hour-long piece of new writing from award-winning playwright Alice Malseed. using an electronic score, rich language and powerful theatrical imagery. It is a delicate and disarming examination of the urgent issues of male mental health, alcoholism, sexual assault, class and male suicide.

Jade City started life as a commission from EastSide Arts festival, with a sell-out run performed in the Boxing Academy in August 2018. View From Here came on as co-producers in January 2019 for the transfer to VAULT Festival.

The original run was funded by The Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund, and Equality Commission of Northern Ireland with support from British Council Northern Ireland and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and by a Jerwood Performing Arts Micro Bursary. The transfer for VAULT Festival was supported by Rosalind Riley.

Press for Jade City: 

“Alice Malseed’s two-hander comes dense and sticky with language, East Belfast place names and Northern Irish accents and flips in time…there is something undeniably powerful in this story of two men bound together by a shared childhood and the imaginary games they used to play, their complete lack of a future and a terrible secret—previously unacknowledged and unshared—which binds them together and drives them apart.”- LYN GARDNER, STAGE DOOR

“The pace is ferocious… intensity is never lacking. Staged around a boxing ring, a threat of violence seldom leaves the room. The two performers, Barry Calvert and Brendan Quinn, both throw themselves into the roles and grasp every moment of drama. The competitive dynamics of their relationship, the slow revelation of a tragedy that changed them both, crackles with tension.” – ONCE A WEEK THEATRE

“Male mental health and the concept of toxic masculinity has been explored on stage more frequently in recent times, and Jade City, a new piece of writing by Alice Malseed, takes an innovative approach to the subject” – ★★★★ THEATRE WEEKLY

“It comes almost as a shock when the dark heart of this play is exposed. The lyricism disappears, which gives the secrets a desperate vividness… in a flash the boys are back playing their games, though something has changed between them. Their masculine posturing now seems awkward and childlike.” – REVIEWS HUB