Jez Butterworth’s smash hit play Jerusalem returns to the stage, after 2019’s sellout five-star premiere and equally lauded West End and Broadaway transfers. Best of all, Mark Rylance will reprise his starring role and Ian Rickson will once again direct.
Fittingly, producer Sonia Friedman chose St George’s Day to share the news of the upcoming Jerusalem revival in 2021.
Set at Flintock Fair on St George’s Day, the play gives a vivid, poetic portrait of Englishness and rural life under threat. Butterworth writes with zest and humour, weaving tangents, profanity and humanity into a taut but expansive piece of theatre, which was hailed ‘magnificent’, ‘a masterpiece’ and ‘the greatest play of the century’ by jubilant reviewers.
In a career-defining, Tony, Olivier and Evening Standard award-winning performance, Mark Rylance immortalised Johnny 'Rooster' Byron, a charming rogue who holds court at his caravan. Spinning yarns and embellishing local history and personal folklore, the gyspy/drug dealer/ reprobate is robust and defiant. But his bombastic way of life is at risk, as Rooster faces eviction from his ramshackle woodland home.
Expect an all-encompassing and immersive experience from this revival: the original production of Jerusalem included a hyper-real set design featuring a menagerie of chickens, goldfish and tortoise, surrounded by live elm trees.
Information about run dates and venue are still to be announced and it's likely to be a while before tickets go on sale. But one thing is for sure: this Jerusalem revival will ensure people come flocking back to the theatre in 2021.