Rawlife Theatre Company - The Sword and the Sand

Rawlife Theatre Company - The Sword and the Sand

West Belfast meets East (the Middle-East that is) in this new hard-hitting, dangerous comedy by Belfast writer Pearse Elliott and Rawlife Theatre Company.

Award winning writer Pearse Elliott and Rawlife Theatre Company have once again teamed up to bring a brand new not to be missed production – The Sword and the Sand.  With a proven track record of presenting edgy, dark but funny theatre about modern life as in ‘As the Tide Ebbs’; ‘Septic Tiger’ and ‘The Christening,’  Rawlife’s The Sword and the Sand is a black comedy about how idealism and the struggle for freedom can lead to many different places, some hopeful but others violent.

The production features an exciting and stellar cast of established and critically acclaimed stage, TV and film actors including; Marty Maguire who starred alongside Forest Whitaker and Dakota Fanning in the film Fragments; Bernadette Brown who recently appeared in Rawlife’s Here We Lie at Lyric Theatre; Mark Asante who appeared in the critically acclaimed ITV drama Endeavour; Gerard Jordan known for his portrayal of Biter in the HBO series Game of Thrones and Paddy Jenkins whose work includes the Oscar-nominated Everything In This Country Must and Endgame.
Azir (Mark Asante), a political refugee, comes to Belfast to escape a life of persecution only to find himself right back where he started. He gets taken advantage of by Duff (Marty Maguire), a local drug enforcer, and gets dragged into a life of crime from which he tries to escape. However, Azir is not the only victim of Duff’s sociopathic behaviour. He sets his sights on targeting another local drug dealer Turbo (Paddy Jenkins) who refuses to pay protection money.  Meanwhile, his impressionable protégées Cricky (Gerard Jordan) and Lala (Bernadette Brown) are also led down a path of delusional dreams and idealistic dead ends.


Writer of The Sword and the Sand, Pearse Elliott said;

“I am extremely excited about the production of The Sword and the Sand with Rawlife Theatre Company. It’s exciting, gritty, funny, vibrant and incredibly relevant in today’s society. The play embraces the refugee experience, the redundancy of republican militarism, and provokes thought on global issues such as radicalism and Western consumerism. This is all packed into a highly dramatic crime genre that hurtles to a thrilling denouement.”


Martin McSharry, Artistic Director for Rawlife Theatre Company, commented;

The Sword and the Sand is a black comedy set in the context of modern day Belfast and is primarily about freedom and choice.  The characters may be free to choose but they are not free to select the choices they are faced with.  Whether due to poverty, war or environment, their options are limited and the choices they make take them down roads that lead to many different places, some hopeful but others violent. Thanks to the support of the Art’s Council Lottery Fund, it’s a pleasure to once again team up with Lyric Theatre Belfast and Pearse Elliott to present and direct this funny yet challenging  and disturbing piece of new Belfast writing brought to life by an amazingly talented team.”

Gilly Campbell, Arts Development Officer for Drama and Dance, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added;

“The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is pleased to support this new production by Rawlife Theatre Company through National Lottery funding.  This hard-hitting play will take audiences on an exciting journey and I would encourage everyone to go along and enjoy.”       


The Sword and the Sand runs at the Naughton Studio, Lyric Theatre, 09 – 27 May. Tickets starting from £15. For further details visit

Rawlife Theatre Company - The Sword and the Sand

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