After the short run at the Royal Court Theatre sold out in just one day, the producers are delighted to announce that Jez Butterworth’s epic, new play The Ferryman will transfer to the West End. Multi-award-winning actor, director and writer Paddy Considine will be joined by Laura Donnelly and Genevieve O’Reilly in the production directed by Sam Mendes. The cast will also 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 full company comprises 38 performers: 18 main adults, 7 covers, 12 children on rota and 1 baby.
Rural Derry, 1981. The Carney farmhouse is a hive of activity with preparations for the annual harvest. A day of hard work on the land and a traditional night of feasting and celebrations lie ahead. But this year they will be interrupted by a visitor.
The Ferryman will run at the Gielgud Theatre for 16 weeks from 20 June – 7 October with an opening night on 29 June. Tickets go on sale to priority bookers on Wednesday 8 February and the Box Office opens for general on-sale on Friday 10 February at 9am.
Developed by Sonia Friedman Productions, the premiere of The Ferryman is co-produced with Neal Street Productions and Royal Court Theatre Productions. The West End production will follow the run at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs which begins 24 April 2017, with an opening night on 3 May. Jez Butterworth, whose plays include Jerusalem, Mojo and The River, previously collaborated with Sam Mendes on the scripts for Spectre and Skyfall from the Bond franchise. The Ferryman will be the sixth of Butterworth’s plays to be premiered at the Royal Court Theatre and marks his fourth collaboration with Sonia Friedman Productions.
Sonia Friedman, on behalf of Sonia Friedman Productions, Neal Street Productions and Royal Court Theatre Productions said: “We are delighted that we have made it possible to transfer Jez Butterworth’s new play The Ferryman, which will move to the Gielgud Theatre almost immediately after its run at the Royal Court Theatre finishes.
When it first went on sale at the Court, it sold out in record time. It became clear to us even then that there was a far larger demand to see the play than the Court run could ever accommodate. We have therefore worked at speed to find the production another home as quickly as possible, which is no mean feat, and we are very grateful to the company for helping us make this happen.
It is thrilling to know that wider audiences will now have a chance to see this extraordinary new work from one of our most important writers. The scope, scale and ambition of Jez’s new play deserves this opportunity and I am delighted that together with Royal Court Theatre Productions and Neal Street Productions we are in the privileged position to make it happen.”
The Ferryman is directed by Sam Mendes, designed by Rob Howell, with lighting by Peter Mumford, and music and sound by Nick Powell.
Sonia Friedman Productions, Neal Street Productions
& Royal Court Theatre Productions present
By Jez Butterworth
Directed by Sam Mendes
Designer Rob Howell
Lighting Designer Peter Mumford
Composer & Sound Design Nick Powell
Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, London W1D 6AR
20 June 2017 – 19th May 2018
Buy The Gielgud Theatre London Tickets
35-37 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6AR
Gielgud Theatre Seating Plan
Gielgud Theatre Box Office Opening Hours:
Gielgud Theatre Box Office Telephone: 0844 482 5130
Monday – Saturday: 10am – 7.45pm
Venue and Travel Information
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus (approximately. 250m), Charing Cross (approx. 550m)
Nearest Tube Lines: Bakerloo, Piccadilly
Directions from nearest tube: Take Shaftesbury Avenue along the side where the famous illuminated signs are. The theatre is on the left after about 100 metres.
Nearest Railway Station: Charing Cross (approximately. 550m)
Bus Numbers: (Shaftesbury Avenue) 14, 19, 38
Car Park: Brewer Street (3 minutes)
Within Congestion Zone: Yes
Venue Facilities: Air conditioned, Bar, Disabled toilets, Infrared hearing loop, Toilets, Wheelchair accessible
The Gielgud Theatre London Brief History
The theatre opened on 27th December 1906 as the Hicks Theatre after actor, manager and playwright Seymour Hicks, for whom it was built. Designed by W G R Sprague in the style of Louis XVI, the theatre had 970 seats. The theatre was constructed as one of two with the Queen’s Theatre, which subsequently opened in 1907 on the adjacent street corner.
The first performance at the theatre was a musical called The Beauty of Bath by Hicks and Cosmo Hamilton. Another Hicks musical My Darling, followed in 1907, with the Straus operetta after that and then A Waltz Dream in 1908. During the run of the theatre’s next major work, The Dashing Little Duke (1909), Hicks’ wife Ellaline Terriss, played the title role (a woman playing a man), and when she missed several performances due to illness, Hicks stepped forward into the role.
In 1909, the American impresario Charles Frohman became manager of the theatre and renamed it The Globe Theatre and then reopened with His Borrowed Plumes written by Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph Churchill. Another Globe Theatre, situated on Newcastle Street, had been demolished in 1902 to make way for the construction of the Aldwych, and so the name became available. Several celebrated productions followed which included Call It A Day by Dodie Smith which opened in 1935 and ran for 509 performances, and was considered extremely successful for this period.
Terence Frisby’s There’s a Girl in My Soup, opening in 1966, running for 1,064 performances at the theatre, a record that was not passed until Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Olivier Award-winning comedy Daisy Pulls It Off by Densie Deegan which opened in April 1983 to run for 1,180 performances, which remains the theatre’s longest run. In 1987 Peter Shaffer’s play Lettice and Lovage was a huge hit with Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack starring and running for two years. The Globe was at one time the home of a resident theatre cat named Beerbohm. The cat’s portrait hangs in the corridor near the stalls. Beerbohm appeared on stage at least once during each production, causing the actors to improvise. The cat occupied certain actors’ dressing rooms while they were at the theatre, including Peter Bowles, Michael Gambon and Penelope Keith. Beerbohm was mentioned several times on Desert Island Discs, and he was the only cat to have a front page obituary in the theatrical publication, The Stage. Beerbohm died in March 1995 at the grand old age of 20.
The theatre was refurbished in 1987, which included extensive work on the gold leaf in the auditorium. The theatre is renowned for its beautiful circular Regency staircase, oval gallery and tower. The theatre has presented a number of Alan Ayckbourn premieres, including 1990′s Man of the Moment. Subsequently, Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy, An Ideal Husband (1992) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (2004) which saw notable revivals.
In 1994, in preparation for the 1997 opening of a reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on the South Bank by Sam Wanamaker, the theatre was renamed in honour of British actor John Gielgud. In 2003, Sir Cameron Mackintosh announced plans to refurbish the Gielgud, including a joint entrance foyer, with the adjacent Queen’s Theatre, looking out on to Shaftesbury Avenue. Mackintosh’s Delfont Mackintosh Theatres took control of the Gielgud from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Theatre Group in 2006.
Work on the front of the theatre started in March 2007 and the interior restoration, including reinstating the boxes at the back of the dress circle, was completed in January 2008.