Jade City | Eastside Arts Festival

Hard-hitting play Jade City to pack a punch at City of Belfast Boxing Academy

Jade City, a punchy and hot-headed two-hander exploring the dark, toxic and tumultuous friendship of two young men in East Belfast, will premiere at the EastSide Arts Festival in the uniquely atmospheric setting of City of Belfast Boxing Academy in east Belfast.

Jade City is a hard-hitting story by Alice Malseed of two men struggling to keep their heads above water in east Belfast. The play packs an emotional punch, but not without Alice Malseed’s well-known wit and dark humour. Audiences will be provoked to look at the world outside, but also to laugh.

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 inside their heads. This explosive play creates a layered portrayal of what life is like in the inner city, for these characters, who have an inability to see beyond their everyday circumstances and move beyond the internal angst that they wade through every day.

Jade City uses rich language and powerful theatrical imagery to explore male friendship and toxic masculinity. It brings to life the zeitgeist issues of sexual assault, male mental health, alcoholism, class and male suicide. Against these big topics, the men have created a game. It’s playful and childish and allows them to explore their own lives and truths, to devastating effect.

Jade City is produced by 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.

Alice Malseed, writer of Jade City, said:

“I am incredibly honoured and excited to be premiering Jade City in my boxing club, City of Belfast Boxing Academy. It is going to be electrifying to see this play staged in the club. 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. I am grateful to Rachel Kennedy at EastSide Arts who has been instrumental in supporting this brave new play and in helping the production become a reality.”

Rachel Kennedy, EastSide Arts Festival Director, added:

“We are very excited to premiere Jade City at this year’s EastSide Arts Festival, and to feature a new piece of writing by the incredibly talented Alice Malseed.  This hard-hitting play is guaranteed to capture audience’s imagination. We are also very excited to be staging the production in the City of Belfast Boxing Academy in east Belfast which will certainly give the production a unique edge as well as provide an exceptional artistic experience for audiences.”

Jade City will run for 4 performances at City of Belfast Boxing Academy, east Belfast as part of EastSide Arts Festival: Thursday 03, Friday 04 and Sunday 05 August at 20:00 with a Sunday Matinee at 14:45. For booking details visit www.eastsidearts.net

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