I Love Vinegar Vera

Cut to the Chase Productions in collaboration with Nadia Drews present

I Love Vinegar Vera
(What becomes of the Broken-hearted)
Written by Nadia Drews
Directed by Jen Heyes

A bleeding heart meets bleeding tart in a new play by Nadia Drews.

Cut to the Chase Productions continue their innovative, site specific approach which shaped their triumphant Wall Talks and present a passionate and polemical new work written by Nadia Drews and directed by Jen Heyes. Politics, poetry and a pint are combined in one unique theatrical event at Joshua Brooks, Manchester from Tue 1– Sat 5 November.

I Love Vinegar Vera (What becomes of the Broken-hearted) is the second play written by new Manchester playwright Nadia Drews, her first production Occupational Therapy was performed at Studio Salford in 2007. The play is directed by Liverpool based Jen Heyes who has had great success regionally, nationally and internationally with theatre productions including Blood Wedding, Walk Talks, Misery and Therese Raquin.

Joe Whiteside is the penciled portrait on the back of the beer mat. Vinegar Vera is gossip and rumour. They are both characters born out of the myth and legend of working class communities but they are both skin and bone. Their eyes meet across the crowded room of a backstreet pub and it is love at first sight, that the community of regulars can’t see working out. I Love Vinegar Vera defends the right of all people to be vulnerable and all vulnerable people to be given their rights. It challenges all the judgement callers, Kyles and Cowells and all others alike… to care. It calls out to all lost souls and soul fans. It calls for an end to the condemnation. Does the chancer deserve to be given a second chance? Should we all be given the benefit of the doubt? Come to the pub and see the regulars as you have never seen them before.

Director Jen Heyes “As a director I am passionate about new writing and have always understood the importance of working with writers to develop new scripts. I was introduced to Nadia and I Love Vinegar Vera when North West Playwrights asked me to direct a workshop of the play in 2010. What struck me about about Nadia’s work was the sheer physicality and poetry of the language and the wonderful archetypal characters that she brings together, characters that we could encounter any night of the week in any Manchester pub. After further development work in early 2011 and a sharing at Studio Salford it’s fantastic that we are able to bring the premiere of I Love Vinegar Vera to a great site specific venue, right in the heart of Manchester thanks to the support of The Arts Council”.

Politics, poetry and a pint are combined in one unique theatrical event. The snarl, and the swagger of Berkoff’s East are brought up North. I Love Vinegar Vera will leave you with a hangover you won’t want to forget.

You know how it will end, or do you? Maybe it is you who decides.


I LOVE VINEGAR VERA (What becomes of the Broken-hearted)
Joshua Brooks, Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6NG
Tue 1 – Sat 5 November 2011
Times: Tue – Sat 7pm
Tickets: All seats £8
How to Book: Call Quay Tickets on 0843 208 0500 or online at www.quaytickets.com

Running time: 2hrs (Inc Interval)
Age range: 12+
Funded by: Arts Council of England _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Press Performance: Thu 3rd November 2011

Main Image: Character Joe (Self portrait by kind permission of Steve Huison)

• Initially nurtured as part of the North West Playwrights New writing scheme by their director Chris Bridgeman. I love Vinegar Vera has gone through various stages of development.
• North West Playwrights supported a one day workshop in 2010 with Nadia Drews bringing in Jen Heyes as a director and dramaturg and a cast of professional local actors, from this experience the play was re-written with the intention of presenting it to an audience.
• In early 2011, a 2-day workshop took place between writer Nadia Drews, directed/dramaturgy by Jen Heyes and a cast of local professional actors supported by North West Playwrights.
• Since then Nadia and Jen have worked closely together to co produce and re draft the play moving it onto this next full scale site specific production stage and it’s Manchester premiere with Cut to the chase Productions


Jen Heyes
Jen is a freelance Director/Producer/Educator and Theatre Practioner who specialises in site specific projects. She is founder and artistic director of Cut to the Chase Productions. In 2010 she was the creative producer for the Four Corners Exhibition at The Bluecoat Arts Centre. She is currently collaborating with Tate Liverpool’s with Young Tate on Curioser and Curioser an immersive theatrical event for their forthcoming Alice in Wonderland Exhibition. In 2010 she directed the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Spirit of Christmas concerts featuring Lesley Garrett. As a director Jen has worked regionally, nationally and internationally (Oporto, Lisbon, Hong Kong. Luxembourg and Berlin). Her directing credits include: Blood Wedding * * * * The Guardian (Liverpool Playhouse) Wall Talks * * * * * METRO (commissioned by the Liverpool Culture Company) Yerma (Portuguese production) Talking Heads 9/10 Liverpool Echo and finalist in the Scouseology Awards. September in the Rain, Misery, Caligari (in association with Unity Theatre, director in residence 2002), Misery, Trapped, The Vagina Monologues, Much Ado about Nothing, The Little Mermaid, A Midsummer Nights Dream, The Norse Myths, The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol, Therese Raquin * * * * * Daily Post and Echo (Winner – Liverpool Echo Arts and Entertainment Award for Best Home production, same year finalist for Best New talent as a director) Wannabe ( winner Best New Play – Daily Post and Echo Arts Awards) Midriff (London & Hong Kong) The Starving Brides (HUB theatre, national tour director) Mujers No Shakespeare ( Portuguese production) The Bacchae, Wounded, Trapped, Agamemnon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, Low Level Panic.Film Credits include: UNcover Liverpool- A World Heritage City, A Garden Of Eden, Choices, Discover.

Nadia Drews
Nadia Drews has written and performed her own work as a singer and songwriter since 1992. She showcased an extract of her first play ‘Occupational Therapy’ at the Zion Centre in 2007 going on to produce this in full at Studio Salford in the same year. She has been a writer in development with North West Playwrights since 2008 and has developed her second play ‘I Love Vinegar Vera (What Becomes of the Brokenhearted)’ with their support. The relationship that she developed with the director Jen Heyes has enabled her to explore physical theatre and site specific approaches in her work and this new production represents a major development in her writing. Nadia seeks to combine a strong political viewpoint through the representation of the theatre in working class life and to put on stage the extraordinary performances of ordinary people.


Play written by – Nadia Drews
Directed by – Jen Heyes
Co Produced by – Cut to the Chase Productions and Nadia Drews
Costume Designer – Jessica Dowling

Full cast to be announced

Marketing and PR – Bill Elms Associates Ltd

5 Responses

  • Pingback: I Love Vinegar Vera – Tickets On Sale - Cut to the Chase Productions

  • David Thomas says:

    Dear Nadia, have just seen a poster for I Love Vinegar Vera, could this Vinegar Vera be the same one i searched for and found in Salford in the early seventies? My interset is due to the fact that i am a stand up poet and one of my poems is called Vinegar Vera. Look forward to your reply. regards David

    • nadia drews says:

      Hi David, Vinegar Vera was a character I first heard stories about in Bolton in the eighties.. I then found , however, that every time I mentioned her to people they had similar anecdotes about someone of this name in a different area of the north. I then began to think that there may not be an actual Vinegar Vera but a need to invent one in every working class community. For me Vera is made up of the repressed fears and desires of these communities. I love the fact that you have met an actual Vera and would love to hear more about her. I hope that you will send me a copy of your poem as I would really like to read it. Thanks so much for your post . Are you coming to the show?

  • Pete B says:

    Vinegar Vera was/is a real person. As a young journalist working on the Salford City Reporter in the early 1970s I often had to report on her regular appearances in the local magistrates court. Usually for offences involving drink and/or violence and often in the company of her paramour, Mick McGuire. She was a frightening character if you bumped into her near one of the many pubs from which she was banned. Foul-mouthed and prone to lash out if annoyed, this particular monster is not something invented to scare the kids. She scared the parents as well.

  • Joanne McLaughlin says:

    Vera Was Understud!!! That Poor Lady Lost A Child Called Debbie An Yers Later Thought I Was The Child She Lost 2 Social Services!! She Randomly Turned Up Where Ever I Was. At Work And Caused A Storm 🙂 2 A Manager Who Was A Monster Fair Play Vera :)X The Cressant Cops Were Called And We Were Told ” If U Want A Pub Then Give Her Wot She Wants” Copper Comment I Heard It Myself. I Felt Sorry 4 Her An Said “Mam Go Home Im Ok Thanks” Im Sorry Mami On Have 1 🙂 N I Love U ≪3 N Thats The Last Time I Saw Vera 🙁 She Was Wiv Mad Mick And Lived On Keats Court Salford Not Manchester An The Name Came From The Chippy Next 2 The Railway Pub Near Saford Precinct, When Dared 2 Drink A Bottle Ov Vinegar 4 A Beer God Bless U Vera U Legend

Leave a Reply