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‘The Ferryman,’ a Look at Anguish in Northern Ireland, Is Set for Broadway

‘The Ferryman,’ a Look at Anguish in Northern Ireland, Is Set for Broadway


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Laura Donnelly and Paddy Considine in “The Ferryman” at the Royal Court Theater in London.

Credit
Johan Persson

“The Ferryman,” a British play about a sprawling family in rural Northern Ireland that starts to unravel in a crush of heartbreaking secrets, painful resentments and revelations of past crimes, is coming to Broadway.

The play, written by Jez Butterworth and directed by Sam Mendes, features an enormous cast for a nonmusical production (with a 30-plus member cast) as well as a live rabbit and a goose (at least in the London production).

Set in 1981, it evokes the sweeping state-of-a-nation themes of Mr. Butterworth’s other epic-like work that reached Broadway, “Jerusalem.” But “The Ferryman” also feels as if it’s a cousin to that other memorable melodrama about a big family under one roof, “August: Osage County.”

The Broadway production, which has not yet been cast, will open in October at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater, produced by Sonia Friedman and Neal Street Productions, a company whose founders include Mr. Mendes.

The play was staged in London at the Royal Court Theater last year, and is now running in the West End. Ben Brantley, writing in The New York Times, called it “fiercely gripping” and said “it feels as if the show’s every molecule vibrates with bounteous life.”

The “Ferryman” announcement comes amid a flurry of advance planning on Broadway, where a box office boom has led to a shortage of available theaters. At least 15 shows have announced commitments to open on Broadway in the 2018-19 season.



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