The Ferryman Synopsis
County Armagh, Northern Ireland, 1981. The Carney farmhouse is a hive of activity with preparations for the annual harvest. A day of hard work on the land and a traditional night of feasting and celebrations lie ahead. But this year they will be interrupted by a visitor... Developed by Sonia Friedman Productions, The Ferryman premiered to huge acclaim at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in April 2017, before transferring to the West End. The production was directed by Sam Mendes. It went on to win the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play and the Critics' Circle, Olivier and WhatsOnStage Awards for Best New Play.
The Ferryman Press Reviews
A richly absorbing and emotionally abundant play... an instant classic. --Independent;A rich, serious, deeply involving play... what gives The Ferryman such shattering force is its Hardyesque love of rural rituals and its compassionate exploration of unspoken love. --Guardian;A stunning, sprawling and richly written new play... a mixing of the mythic and the modern. --The Stage;An astonishing, enormous, shattering eruption of a play... it left me genuinely stunned --Time Out;Something special... a serious, seriously good, grown-up play. --The Times;Butterworth has done it again... a drama of mighty magnitude... miss this and you've missed a marvel. --Telegraph;A triumphant show that fully justifies the hype... a feast of intricate storytelling, it's absorbing, soulful and ultimately shattering. --Evening Standard; A story that heaves with narratives and with incidents, with jokes and with surreal moments... an amazing experience. Butterworth's storytelling finesse carries all before it. --The Arts Desk;A stunning piece that might be even better than Mojo and even Jerusalem, which is really saying something... combines elements of Greek tragedy with a shrewd commentary on recent Irish history in the wrapping of a high octane family drama. --British Theatre Guide; Huge in the scale of its cast, of its ambition, of its rich themes. But above all, massive in its capacity to hold an audience rapt, in silence, telling them a story. It is, like Jerusalem before it, an extraordinary, thrilling act of belief in the power of theatre to gather people in a room and make them listen... Butterworth's writing, both flexible and controlled, makes every moment, whether funny, tender or tragic worth leaning forward to catch... a triumphant, bold piece of theatre, full of life and heart and passion. --whatsonstage.com;A hell of a piece: theatrical, engrossing, a world unfurling and reaching out hands to the heart in a dozen directions. Fizzes of humour, surprise and shock dart through it... Jez Butterworth's immense, ambitious play takes us deep into this world and - as in his great Jerusalem - roams beyond it into universal themes of history and legend, memory and love, childhood, song and poetry and national identity and the way national dreams sour to vicious partisan expedience... magnificent. --Libby Purves (Theatrecat blog);Jez Butterworth is back - and how... his new play is a mighty affair, sending stories, characters, history, politics and love skittering across the floor with the flair of a gambler rolling dice. It's a stunning piece of writing: teeming with life; haunted by death... Butterworth takes the great family drama and makes it his own. You can see traces of Friel, Miller, Chekhov, Ibsen, even Aeschylus and Sophocles, and it's clearly a twist on the Irish dramatic canon. He offers a masterclass in observing the classical unities, using dramatic irony and building tension. But he also brings to it his own love of storytelling and skill with menace, binding the two to depict the tragic mesh of conflict... a magnificent play that uses, brilliantly, the vitality of live theatre to express the deadly legacy of violence. --Financial Times