Following a sold-out, critically acclaimed premiere at the Royal Court Theatre earlier this year, Sonia Friedman Productions transferred Jez Butterworth's newest play, The Ferryman, into London's West End. Directed by Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes and designed by Rob Howell, The Ferryman opened to 5* reviews across the board and marks a hat-trick of acclaimed plays from Jez Butterworth, after The River and the multi-award winning Jerusalem played in London.
Tickets for The Ferryman at the Royal Court Theatre broke records, selling out in record time. It was announced that The Ferryman would transfer to the West End's Gielgud Theatre for 16 weeks from 20 June to 7 October 2017, with an opening night on 29 June 2017. The show has since extended to 6 January 2018.
Writer Jez Butterworth has a long history of collaborating with the Royal Court Theatre, beginning with the major success of his drama Mojo which premiered in 1995. It won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy along with an Evening Standard Award. A new production, directed once again by Ian Rickson, was mounted at the Harold Pinter Theatre in 2013.
Butterworth's most successful play to date premiered at the Royal Court in July 2009 before sold-out runs in the West End and on Broadway. Jerusalem was described as a "contemporary vision of life in England's green and pleasant land" and starred Mark Rylance as Johnny 'Rooster' Byron. It won the Evening Standard Theatre Award and Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best New Play and opened on Broadway in April 2011 to rave reviews and a Tony Award nomination for Best New Play.
In 2012 Butterworth's play The River opened at the Royal Court Theatre in a production that starred Dominic West, Laura Donnelly and Miranda Raison. It transferred to Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre in October 2014, starring Hugh Jackman.
Casting for The Ferryman includes Paddy Considine, the English actor, filmmaker, and musician. His film credits include '24 Hour Party People' (2002), 'Hot Fuzz' (2007), 'The Bourne Ultimatum' (2007), 'The World's End' (2013) and Macbeth (2015). His television roles include 'Peaky Blinders' and 'The Suspicions of Mr Whicher'.
He is joined by Laura Donnelly who previously starred in The River at the Royal Court and on Broadway and Irish actress Genevieve O'Reilly who is best known for her work in the Star Wars franchise as Mon Mothma.
Other cast members for The Ferryman include: Bríd Brennan, Turlough Convery, Fra Fee, Tom Glynn-Carney, Stuart Graham, Gerard Horan, Carla Langley, Des McAleer, Conor MacNeill, Rob Malone, Dearbhla Molloy, Eugene O’Hare and Niall Wright with further casting to be announced.
The Ferryman is the sixth of Butterworth’s plays to be premiered at the Royal Court Theatre and marks his fourth collaboration with Sonia Friedman Productions. Directed by Sam Mendes, the production is designed by Rob Howell, with lighting by Peter Mumford, and music and sound by Nick Powell.