Grace tried to squeeze a city into a theatre. We poked around for a moment of grace through a chaos of stolen ideas, wilful energy and a handful of beautiful images. Grace was the most presentational work Quarantine had made at that point – 12 performers on a big stage, watched by an audience in seats.
“I wanted to make a companion piece to White Trash and Butterfly – where we started with groups of people who obviously had something that tied them together - and then explored their individuality. In Grace I tried to work from the opposite direction. There was a mother and her 3 year old son, a singer in his sixties, a young Somali woman, an elegant mixed race Mancunian, an Australian woman who’s 3 feet tall, a half-Spanish father of 2, a feisty dancer from Newcastle and a Manchester guitar band.
I’d been living away from Manchester for a while. I’d return regularly and always be struck by the filth of the city then - its aggressive energy, the incredible range of people, the constant thud of music from somewhere, big television screens in the street. A city I love and hate.
I am presented daily with people whose culture, beliefs, lifestyle, politics, experience and history are very different to my own. This is how life is in the city. I recognise that I simply have to get on with sharing some space.
Writer Sonia Hughes created a parallel project, Grace Notes. She’d take our questions to lawyers, cleaners, homeless people, a policewoman, an elderly people’s dance group and many more – asking our questions of them and finding appropriate ways to bring their responses back into the rehearsal room.”
Richard Gregory, Director