Jez Butterworth's 'The Ferryman' Charts Course for Broadway

The Ferryman Still Laura Donnelly and Paddy Considine - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Johan Persson

An award-winning hit in London, Sam Mendes' production will wrap its West End run in May before a fall transfer to New York's Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.

One of the most acclaimed new British plays to premiere in recent seasons, Jez Butterworth's The Ferryman, will follow its yearlong London run with a move to Broadway in October.

Set in rural Northern Ireland in 1981 during the worst of The Troubles, the populous ensemble piece unfolds during an annual grain harvest in County Armagh, when an unexpected visitor disturbs the more routine chaos of the farmhouse where Quinn Carney lives with his abundant family.

Sam Mendes directs the production, which premiered to ecstatic reviews in May 2017 at London's Royal Court Theatre before transferring to the Gielgud Theatre in the West End, where the sold-out run has been twice extended. It is scheduled to close May 19, after 410 performances.

Butterworth's play won the Evening Standard Awards for best play and best director, and was chosen as best new play at the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards in London.

While the London premiere was led by Paddy Considine and Laura Donnelly, the 30-plus member cast for The Ferryman at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway is to be announced. Sonia Friedman Productions and Mendes' Neal Street Productions are leading the transfer, which begins previews Oct. 2 for an Oct. 21 opening.

Butterworth made his Broadway debut in 2011 with Jerusalem, which won Mark Rylance a Tony Award for best actor. He returned in 2014 with The River, which featured Donnelly alongside Hugh Jackman and Cush Jumbo. In additional to his stage work, Butterworth's extensive screenwriting credits include the James Brown biopic Get on Up, the Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow and the Mendes-directed 007 blockbuster Spectre.

An Oscar winner for American Beauty, Mendes' Broadway directing credits include David Hare's The Blue Room, with Nicole Kidman; the 2003 revival of Gypsy, starring Bernadette Peters; and the long-running Cabaret revival, co-directed by Rob Marshall.