A childhood accident left Strawberry Jack Grundy horrifically scarred – a wild child that grew into a ferocious man. Once the War Horse of Paradise Heights, recent events have stacked the deck firmly against the One Eyed Jack, doorman of The Ace of Spades Nightclub. He is now a fading shadow of the man he once was. He blames himself for the death of Corny McGeehan and he’s worried about his stepfather, Mel, who says they are being visited regularly – by an angel, an angel named Shirley, an apparition encountered by others on the streets of Paradise Heights. Who, or what, is she?
But Jack’s rescue of a girl on the mean streets of Paradise Heights thrusts him into a situation he has never faced before, untapped feelings stir, and a frozen heart begins to melt. But One Eyed Jacks aren’t always lucky; someone wants Jack dead by Christmas. They say Christmas is a time for angels…a time for miracles.
Well Jack may have found his angel. Now all he needs is a miracle…
A Christmas Tale from Paradise Heights
The dialogue is pungently, darkly witty, shot through with unforced pathos and flashes of real poetry. But it’s also Paradise Heights. And even Charles Dickens wouldn’t go there without someone riding shotgun. With a master storyteller’s skill, O’Byrne sets up all of the mechanisms that we know will damn and destroy his protagonist, then puts them into motion…Strawberry Jack: A Tale from Paradise Heights finds Joe O’Byrne at the top of his (considerable) game…5 Star Review
Steve Balshaw, Salford Film Festival & Grimm Up North Festival Programmer
How does he keep doing it? I ask myself this question every time I have the great pleasure to witness the birth of yet another classic piece of theatre from the mighty JoeO’Byrne. The Bolton-based writer/director/actor unleashed his latest creation, Strawberry Jack: A Tale from Paradise Heights this week, and delivered yet another 5 star effort. We should be used to this by now. Consistency is this man’s middle name, and work of this quality will surely find a bigger audience soon. ‘Strawberry Jack’ is the latest installment in O’Byrne’s series of plays located on the fictional northern England estate of Paradise Heights…‘Strawberry Jack’ has more twists and turns than Tarantino, a good deal more originality than any Guy Ritchie geezer-fest, and comes straight from the heart. O’Byrne’s aim is true, and if you’re fortunate to be in the line of fire, then whatever you do, don’t duck; stand rock steady and take everything he offers. Give him and his incredible cast and crew your undivided attention.
Brian Gorman, The Public Reviews
Gritty urban drama that cements O’Byrne’s reputation as a first rate writer/director, and the new Jimmy McGovern.