Grace raises the bar for new play

Published: 10 November 2019
Reporter: David Upton

Grace O’Leary sets her new Manchester drama, A Swift Half, in a local bar hosting the hopes and dreams of its owner and patrons.

Running November 21–23 at The Bridge Street Tavern, sisters Maria and Clara try to make sense of their lives and the choices they have made. The pub becomes more than just a backdrop as moments of clarity come served with a swift half. Old friend and pub landlord Bobby is often the dispenser of that wisdom but he too has his own hopes and plans.

Just how important is the pub and what place does it have in everyday life?

Maria Quinn is played by Julie Burrows, Clara Quinn by Sarah E Maher and Bobby Braithwaite by Daryn Gates.

It’s the fifth play from O'Leary and marks 10 years since she started writing and producing her own theatre. Her works include Letter Headed Paper which toured Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Preston in 2013. Grace's first play What Colour Was Her Blood? was shortlisted for Best Original New Play by North West Playwrights.