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“One of the most exciting new plays in ages” – New York Times
“Jez Butterowrth’s gorgeous, expansive new play keeps coming at its audience in unpredictable gusts, rolling from comic to furious, from winsome to bawdy” – Observer
A Comic, contemporary vision of rural life in England’s green and pleasant land.
On the morning of the local county fair, Johnny Byron is a wanted man. Local officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his son wants his full attention, and his motley crew of friends wants his ample supply of booze…
After its 2009 premiere at the Royal Court Theatre, London, Jerusalem won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play in 2009 and transferred to the West End in 2010. It opened on Broadway in April 2011 at the Music Box Theatre, with Mark Rylance reprising his award-winning performance as Byron.
Jez Butterworth is the author of The River, Mojo, The Night Heron, The Winterling, Parlour Song and Jerusalem. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Somerset, England.
start to dance in unison. Towards the end of the song, LEE sounds the submarine ‘Dive! Dive! Dive!’ and everyone gathers at the table. TANYA comes out of the trailer with a tray of drinks. Everyone gets one. As one, they find their places at the table, drain their cups and bang them on the table. JOHNNY stands as the music stops, to cries of: ALL. Bollocks! Bollocks! JOHNNY raises his hands. JOHNNY. It’s true. My mother was a virgin when she bore me! ALL. Bollocks! Bollocks! JOHNNY
look like a gathering. JOHNNY. Was impromptu. Few people showed up. Snowballed. GINGER. Why didn’t you call? JOHNNY. Look, don’t start. I’ve got a throbber on. GINGER. Or text me. Never leave a man on the ground… JOHNNY. I thought you was busy. GINGER. Who said… (Stops.) Fucking… (Stops.) Sex and the City, mate. Fuckin’ Jools Holland then three hours of Pacman on my phone. Not what you’d call a classic. I thought we was mates. JOHNNY. We are mates. GINGER. Then pick up the phone.
the coconut on the floor. And rest. How was that? GINGER. I don’t want to talk about it. LEE. All right. Do this. All right. Copy me. Ready. One. Two. Three. LEE mimes taking a hat off. GINGER lifts the pith helmet off. GINGER. Oh God. That’s better. That’s so much better. That was like a vice. That was awful. It was like my ears couldn’t breathe. LEE. You’re all right now, mate. Settle. Regroup. GINGER. I’m back on top. That is so much better. I was momentarily in trouble there. (To
started that. Bloody Rambo… GINGER. First night back you set fire to the Christmas tree. Royal Oak, you were doing whizz off the bar during the meat raffle. Then on Kiddies’ Fun Day you slaughtered a live pig in the car park. JOHNNY. It was a rural display. GINGER. With a flare gun. JOHNNY. That was a bloody big weekend. GINGER. Congratulations. You got the grand slam. To think they said it would never happen. Beat. JOHNNY. Storm in a teacup, mate. You watch. I’ll buy Danny a pint,
God, On England’s pleasant pastures seen. She beams, pulls a string and the wings flap. And did the Countenance Divine, Shine forth upon those clouded hills, And was Jerusalem builded here, Among those dark satanic – Thumping music. She flees. The curtain rises upon… ACT ONE England at midnight. A clearing in a moonlit wood. At the back of the clearing stands an old forty-foot mobile home. The deafening bass pumps from within, and from speakers on the roof. People dancing wildly, with