(Susannah Clapp’s review appeared in the Observer, 5/7. )

Jez Butterworth’s plays shoulder their way on to the stage. Mojo’s dandy thugs and Jerusalem’s “Rooster” have a juicy physicality that is utterly distinctive. As does Butterworth’s latest. The Ferryman is profligate, boisterous, far-reaching.

It is 1981 in County Armagh. Bobby Sands is on hunger strike, and the Carneys are on their farm, bringing in the harvest. In one corner is an away-with-the-fairies auntie; in another a revolutionary old dame. Giggling around the farmhouse are foul-mouthed pre-teens who take a nip of Bushmills in the morning. At the epicentre are Paddy Considine and Laura Donnelly, a couple whose secret yearning is exquisitely captured in their slow-motion blindfold dance.

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Photo: The New York Times

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