Butterworth's play heads for the West End - hopes to arrive on Broadway


 

Jez Butterworth's dark comic-drama Jerusalem, which recently enjoyed an extended run at London's Royal Court Theatre, is set to transfer to the West End in Jan 2010. The production is setting its eyes on a Broadway run

The West End transfer will boast the original cast, which stars Mark Rylance in the title role of 'Johnny Rooster' and Mackenzie Crook as 'Ginger,' and also features Gerard Horan, Tom Brooke, Danny Kirrane, Lucy Montgomery, Harvey Robinson, Barry Sloane. The production is directed by Ian Rickson.

 

Jerusalem: On St George's Day, the morning of the local county fair, Johnny Byron, local waster and modern day Pied Piper, is a wanted man. The council officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his children want their dad to take them to the fair, Troy Whitworth wants to give him a serious kicking and a motley crew of mates want his ample supply of drugs and alcohol.

 

 

The production opened to excellent reviews: "A wonderful, rollicking, dark comedy about contemporary life in rural England...the whole play is carried along by [Mark] Rylance�s excellent, enigmatic Rooster." (Financial Times); "Perfectly judged production... the triumph belongs to Rylance for perfectly embodying Butterworth's vision of a vanished demonic magic." (Guardian); "Rylance�s is an astonishing performance, which confirms that he is one of our finest stage actors." (Evening Standard); "...it is rich, strange and continuously gripping, ... one of the must-see events of the summer." (Telegraph).

The West End transfer of Jerusalem is being produced by Sonia Friedman, who has had success on Broadway with other recent London transfers.

'The Norman Conquests' and 'Boeing-Boeing' were both transferred from London by Friedman, and both productions earned Tony Awards. Boeing-Boeing starred 'Mark Rylance' in his Broadway debut, for which he won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.

Friedman also produced the London transfer of the Royal Court's 'The Seagull,' which saw the English actors Kristin Scott Thomas and Mackenzie Crook both make their Broadway debut.

If the production does arrive on Broadway it is not known if Mark Rylance - a popular English actor who is much in demand - will reprise his role of 'Rooster' for the Great White Way.