The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre tickets
The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre tickets

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Overview

Jez Butterworth's new play continues to wow London audiences at the West End's Gielgud Theatre. Directed by Sam Mendes, The Ferryman transferred after an immensely popular sold-out run at the Royal Court Theatre. The Ferryman plays an extended run at the Gielgud Theatre until 6 January 2018.

The Ferryman is the first play to feature the Gielgud Theatre, following the extensive run of the National Theatre's smash-hit The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Set in rural Derry in 1981, the play tells the story of the Carney family as their household prepares for the annual harvest on their farm. With a day of hard work on the land and a traditional night of celebration ahead, all is to look forward to, but this year they are interrupted by an unusual visitor.

Jez Butterworth is one of the country’s most acclaimed playwrights and screenwriters. He is best known for his work at the Royal Court, including the much loved Mojo in 1996, Parlour Song in 2008 and The River most recently in 2012, as well as his work as a screenwriter on hugely successful blockbuster films such as Spectre, Black Mass and Edge of Tomorrow.

His most celebrated work to date was his 2009 comedy Jerusalem which opened at the Royal Court with a sell out run, starring Mark Rylance as Johnny Byron and Mackenzie Cook as Ginger, before transferring for a West End run in 2010 and a Broadway run in 2011. Jerusalem won the Evening Standard Theatre Award and Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for best play.

The Ferryman is directed by Sam Mendes, the prolific director for stage and screen who makes his Royal Court debut. Mendes has won countless awards for his stage productions, including Olivier Awards for Best Director for The Glass Menageries (1995), Company (1995), Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night (2003). He is perhaps best known however for his work as a film director, having made acclaimed movies such as American Beauty, Revolutionary Road and the recent James Bond films Skyfall and Spectre.

Casting includes Owen McDonnell as Quinn Carney, opposite Rosalie Craig as Caitlin Carney. Further casting features Dean Ashton, Declan Conlon, Kevin Creedon, Charles Dale, Sean Delaney, Justin Edwards, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Terence Keeley, Laurie Kynaston, Mark Lambert, Catherine McCormack, Stella McCusker, Francis Mezza, Glenn Speers and Sian Thomas.

With the unbeatable pairing of Jez Butterworth and Sam Mendes and following a sold-out opening run at the Royal Court, The Ferryman is one of the hottest West End plays this year, running at the Gielgud Theatre until 6 January 2018.

Recommended for

The Ferryman is perfect for anyone who loved Jez Butterworth’s previous smash hit play Jerusalem, especially with the exciting pairing with acclaimed director Sam Mendes. If you wanted to see The Ferryman during its sell out Royal Court run but were not lucky enough to get tickets, this is the perfect opportunity to catch it during this exciting West End transfer.

Age Recommendations: Suitable for ages 14+

Dates and times

Running time: 3 hours (including an interval and a pause)
Opened: 20 Jun 2017
Press night: 29 Jun 2017
Booking from: 18 May 2018
Booking until: 19 May 2018

Location and map

Gielgud Theatre
35 Shaftesbury Avenue
London, W1D 6AR

211 Reviews Add review

This production is a hot ticket, with a critically acclaimed writer in Jez Butterworth (Mojo, Jerusalem) and a household name thea... More

braintree 155cm, 44 reviews, 5 helpful votes

This production is a hot ticket, with a critically acclaimed writer in Jez Butterworth (Mojo, Jerusalem) and a household name theatre and award winning film director (trust me this is a rarity) Sam Mendes at the helm was it going to be anything else. Even before Paddy Considine was cast as Quinn, patriarch of a large Catholic family in Northern Ireland whose foundations are rocked by the discovery of his brother’s body who disappeared 10 years before. I will be blunt; I am utterly baffled by the 5 * reviews and even more baffled when I read them. There are clear flaws, acknowledged by some reviewers, yet it is treated as a ‘perfect’ production. This is an interesting work, made more poignant as Northern Ireland finds itself in the news as the DUP become a ‘partner’ in British Government but spectacular it is not. THE FERRYMAN Laura Donnelly and Paddy Considine The issue is that it wants to be this epic, with 20 characters it certainly achieves that but it feels like Butterworth wrote lots of different plays; a man in love with his sister-in-law, a generation who never recovered from the Easter Uprising, The Northern Irish relationship with the English and with each other, Young Catholics finding their place in a war zone, the hunger strike, a marriage breaking down and on it goes feeling more and more disjointed as the 3 hours (yes) go on. I saw many cuts I would have made, certain characters as well as certain storylines and relationships but I appreciate and understand why Butterworth needs so much. The story of the disappeared, which sadly gets lots amongst the kitchen sink drama, is a story rarely told, the psychological impact of your side turning against you and keeping quiet for an easier life as Caitlin, Quinn’s sister in law and wife of Seamus his disappeared brother played beautifully by Laura Donnelly, who I adore in Outlander. This is not only Donnelly’s play but Donnelly’s story as her own uncle disappeared. There are some stunning support from Brid Brennan and Dearbhla Molloy as Quinn’s elderly, spinster aunts who present a look at early twentieth century Northern Ireland with their unrequited loves and militant tendencies. Molloy’s rage against Thatcher provides some understandable but uncomfortable viewing and Tom Glynn-Carney as Shane, one of Quinn’s nephew, who provides a glimpse into what drew young men to the Republican cause and why it created such loyalty to characters such as Stuart Graham’s Mr Muldoon. My only complaint is that Muldoon wasn’t played by Pierce Brosnan as a sexy Gerry Adams. Ultimately, I found the play disappointing. Considine’s Quinn doesn’t have the presence (and to be super harsh struggles with a consistent Northern Irish accent, especially in a cast so dominated by Irish/Northern Irish natives) or anything interesting about him. Even his relationship with the IRA is skirted over and his performance and character are completely upstaged by the younger cast members, including a well-behaved baby with additional live animals but on the whole the older children feel underwritten and Butterworth seemed so keen to show a large family he failed to question their role in an already fragmented play. Staging wise it is a stunning use of the Gielgud space, not losing its intimacy yet feeling open to all that is going on. It isn’t a bad play at all but I can’t agree with 5*. It has its flaws, major ones, that make this a work that is difficult to warm to.

braintree 155cm, 44 reviews, 5 helpful votes

Such a strong, powerful, moving play which displayed every emotion possible. loved every minute of watching the talented 20 plus c... More

katierose 5"7, 67 reviews, 2 helpful votes

Such a strong, powerful, moving play which displayed every emotion possible. loved every minute of watching the talented 20 plus cast including kids, adults, goose, and a rabbit! Northern Ireland 1981, in the heart of the IRA and Hunger strikes, The Ferryman focuses on the Carney’s in the middle of their harvest on their well run farm. The whole play is set in the Carney’s family Kitchen with children, parents, aunts and uncles and the occasional friend and animals running through. But in amongst this busy room a past has risen with Quinn’s long lost brother, and Caitlin’s husband body is discovered. This discovery unlocks the secrets of the past, with many hidden stories within the family, keeping the audience at the edge of their seat. It was hart to put a fault to this play, the direction, the set, performers, animals, not one. I was so happy that I managed to see it, having heard very good things about it and now understand why. It is one that defiantly stays with you, with its many stories that displays history, love, and loss all within a kitchen and a huge cast. The Ferryman completely achieves what it has set out to do to its many audiences whom I am sure will agree. http://www.rosereview.co.uk/?p=1178

katierose 5"7, 67 reviews, 2 helpful votes

I was so looking forward to this show, having seen glowing reviews all round. I was absolutely gutted that after the first five mi... More

tapwhizz 168cm, 50 reviews, 3 helpful votes

I was so looking forward to this show, having seen glowing reviews all round. I was absolutely gutted that after the first five minutes I was fidgeting and bored - thus only four stars. The reason? I could not understand the thick Northern Irish accent and in all the reviews nobody else seems to have highlighted this problem. Was I really the only person to have struggled thus? I was devastated and really wished I had read the screen play before I went to see this show. There were long passages of dialogue explaining the history of The Troubles and the family background but this was completely lost on me. The important dramatic moments were amazing though and I was able to follow the plot loosely via the outstanding acting performances of all the actors. The lighting was incredible, going subtly from night to day, I loved the down to earth, realistic costumes of the 80's. The play was set in a farmhouse kitchen and there were so many details to take in. Beautifully done. I would like to see this show again once I have read the screenplay as I feel I have really lost out on what could have been a brilliant experience.

tapwhizz 168cm, 50 reviews, 3 helpful votes

Wow! That is all I can say about this show. (The Ferryman). This is the second time I've seen this show and it's just as good as... More

joc78 5"4, 252 reviews, 4 helpful votes

Wow! That is all I can say about this show. (The Ferryman). This is the second time I've seen this show and it's just as good as first time around. Having seen Jez Butterworth’s recent productions of ‘Mojo’ and ‘Jerusalem’ I was very keen to see ‘The Ferryman’ particularly as it was also directed by Sam Mendes and starred Paddy Considine. And boy….it didn’t disappoint. From the start I was engrossed, captivated, wondering where the next twist or turn will occur. The acting is outstanding particularly from the children in the cast, the dialogue is very funny and heart-warming. You probably need to know your Irish history before watching it as some events may not mean much given their context (i.e. the Easter Rising of 1916, the hunger strikers of 1981). Overall, I was blown away by the performances, the direction and the acting. At over 3 hours 20 mins long, it felt like half the time as it was so good.

joc78 5"4, 252 reviews, 4 helpful votes

The performance was absolutely amazing... Enjoyed every minute! The acting was superb and the set was really well designed. Little... More

hilaryshaw 1 review, 0 helpful votes

The performance was absolutely amazing... Enjoyed every minute! The acting was superb and the set was really well designed. Little touches including the goose and rabbit was great... They were show-stealers particularly the goose who was pecking at the actors coat! All the actors were fantastic in equal measure - the level of energy and emotional input was staggering. Only slight blip was the pause in the second act bit unclear that this was a pause and not an interval so some members of audience left their seats and some were a bit late getting back to their seats... May be good for audience to be made of this short pause to mitigate against possible confusion?

hilaryshaw 1 review, 0 helpful votes

I was quite disappointed. I went to see this as it had won lots of awards and although the acting and story were good it was way t... More

theatrekid88 5", 61 reviews, 4 helpful votes

I was quite disappointed. I went to see this as it had won lots of awards and although the acting and story were good it was way too long for me. Starting dragging in the first half! There are 3 acts, all of which are an hour each. First interval is 15 mins long after the first act and then a 3 minute interval after the second hour for a quick scene change. In my opinion there could have been a good 40mins chopped out to make it more enjoyable. It’s quite a powerful story during the time of the IRA in N. Ireland in the 80’s. Some of the wonderful accents were strong and I would imagine some people would find it hard to understand at times.

theatrekid88 5", 61 reviews, 4 helpful votes

The Ferryman is the best show I have ever seen. It is funny, heartwarming and full of drama and suspense. The acting is brilliant ... More

emilydiver 5"0, 193 reviews, 14 helpful votes

The Ferryman is the best show I have ever seen. It is funny, heartwarming and full of drama and suspense. The acting is brilliant and the set is amazing. A truly outstanding piece of theatre.

emilydiver 5"0, 193 reviews, 14 helpful votes

The Ferryman is a fantastic play. Jez Butterworth wonderfully balances a blend of tones in his writing, switching from moments of ... More

shaun 5"10, 127 reviews, 4 helpful votes

The Ferryman is a fantastic play. Jez Butterworth wonderfully balances a blend of tones in his writing, switching from moments of incredible depth and poignancy, to witty and irreverent humour, or touching and warm portrayals of family to gripping moments of suspense. He manages to unpick a lot of the contradictions and complexities of the Troubles, while always keeping a real focus on believable, human and complex characters. Paddy Considine and Laura Donnelley are both fantastic in the leads, but the huge cast all do wonderfully in making this something special.

shaun 5"10, 127 reviews, 4 helpful votes

I didn't really know much about this show apart from the great reviews that it had received, and I really enjoyed it. A huge, tale... More

jamesatwill 178, 100 reviews, 5 helpful votes

I didn't really know much about this show apart from the great reviews that it had received, and I really enjoyed it. A huge, talented cast (including kids and animals!), and a gripping story that was all tied together really nicely. I don't really know much about the history of the troubles in Ireland, and I feel like I should have read a bit more about it in the programme before the show started, as there were quite a few storylines or references that I didn't understand until I read up about them afterwards, then things made more sense. Definitely recommended!

jamesatwill 178, 100 reviews, 5 helpful votes