Tuesday, 30 March 2010


Images throughout courtesy of Jerusalemtheplay.
Loyal readers you may remember that I posted about Jerusalem back in August of last year when I went to see it while it was showing at the Royal Court. Now firmly settled into its West End run its now showing at the beautiful Apollo Theatre. On Saturday gone I was lucky enough to attend the matinee as a guest of family friend Danny Kirrane (who I've posted about a few times, most recently on his Visa World Cup ad) which meant that myself and my boyfriend got to sit in the actor's box just above the stage left which was fantastic.
It was a privledge to go and see the play again anyway, but I loved being so close to all of the action, being able to smell the cigarette smoke and even spot a little mouse which whilst a little distracting, only added to the atmosphere created by the wonderful set designers – which features real trees and rubbish, as the surroundings where you might expect to find a caravan in the middle of the woods.
Whilst the play isn't really any different to its orginial state last year, there were a few things that had been honed and perfected, as you might expect from a stellar cast who have been performing the script - courtesy of Jez Butterworth - for the best part of six months. The pace was a lot faster, cutting the play down by about ten minutes which is quite a lot considering there are three acts and two intervals to contend with. Also the ensemble delivered their lines with much more conviction, which I didn't think could be possible. Overall the play looked a lot more relaxed and as though the cast were completely at ease and just having fun on stage everynight. I think this was really infectious for the audience as they were lively from the beginning enjoying all the swearing!!
Set on St George's Day, on the morning of the local county fair, Johnny Byron is visited at home by council officials who want to serve him an eviction notice. The play uncovers everything that happens on that fateful day with the recurring theme being Byron's Motley Crew of mates sniffing around his ample supply of drugs and alcohol. With lots of swearing Johhny Byron (played by Mark Rylance) is phenomenal in this contemporary vision of rural life.
Whilst I obviously loved Danny's portrail as Davey - the Wiltshire loving abatoire worker - Mark Rylance's portrayal was so powerful, connecting with the character in a different, yet equally deep way to when I last saw him, subtly tweaking his emotions and bringing more richness and power to his voice. Loved, loved, loved it! Everyone should go and see Jerusalem before the end of the run - watch the video trailer here! Last time I saw the play we spotted David Schwimmer, Kiera Knightley, Rupert Friend, Derren Brown and Michael Sheen. This time around I was delighted to see Bob Hoskins with his wife quietly enjoying the play.

Laurence Olivier Awards 2010
'Jerusalem', Winner of Best Actor for Mark Rylance

London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2009
'Jerusalem', Winner of Best Play
'Jerusalem', Winner of Best Actor for Mark Rylance

Cast list:
Mark Rylance - Johnny "Rooster" Byron
Mackenzie Crook - Ginger
Danny Kirrane - Davey
Jessica Barden - Pea
Tom Brooke - Lee
Alan David - The Professor
Aimee-Ffion Edwards - Phaedra
Amy Beth Hayes - Dawn
Gerard Horan - Wesley
Charlotte Mills - Tanya
Sarah Moyle - Ms Fawcett
Harvey Robinson - Mr Parsons
Barry Sloane - Troy Whitworth (Anyone remember Niall from hollyoaks?!)
Jerusalem is showing at the Apollo Theatre until 24th April.

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