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.

“Quarantine consistently pull off such inexplicably transcendent moments, though the obvious danger of playing to no rules but their own means no one but themselves can expect to fully understand it. Yet the group's work has a poetic integrity to which ordinary critical methods no longer apply. All in all, Grace is less of a play than a state.”
Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

How we made it

“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