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Mark Rylance to star on Broadway in Jerusalem

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The production, directed by Ian Rickson, will also star Mackenzie Crook (The Seagull, “The Office”) as Ginger and most of the original Royal Court cast, with full casting to be announced at a later date. 

JERUSALEM will open on Broadway on April 21, 2011 at the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street). Previews will begin on April 2, 2011. The production will play a limited 16-week engagement.

JERUSALEM opened at the Royal Court Theatre in July, 2009 with critics praising playwright Jez Butterworth’s beautiful and comic elegy for a disappearing way of life in rural England and actor Mark Rylance, who was lauded as delivering one of the great stage performances of our time. The production played an extended sold out run at the Royal Court, before moving to the Apollo Theatre in the West End in January, 2010, where it received an unprecedented set of five-star reviews from 12 London newspapers.

In his review of JERUSALEM, Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, wrote “Mark Rylance has a magical gift that elevates him above all the competition and puts him on a par with acting legends Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson and Alec Guinness.” Susannah Clapp, The Observer, said, “Jez Butterworth’s gorgeous, expansive new play keeps coming at its audience in unpredictable gusts, rolling from comic to furious, from winsome to bawdy.” Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard cheered, “In Johnny Byron, Butterworth has created a thrilling role. Rylance’s is an astonishing performance, which confirms that he is one of our finest stage actors.” Mark Lawson, columnist for the Guardian proclaimed JERUSALEM “unarguably one of the best dramas of the 21st century.” The London Times also wrote of Mark Rylance, “His performance in Jerusalem is what theatre is all about. Intelligent, primal, incredibly funny, incredibly emotional.”

JERUSALEM won the 2009 Evening Standard and London Critics’ Circle Awards and the 2010 Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award for Best Play. Rylance won 2009 Olivier, Evening Standard and London Critics’ Circle Best Actor Awards for his performance.

In the woods of South West England, Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron (Mark Rylance), former daredevil motorcyclist and modern-day Pied Piper, is a wanted man. The council officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his son wants to be taken to the country fair, a stepfather wants to give him a serious kicking and a motley crew of friends wants his ample supply of drugs and alcohol.

Mark Rylance (Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron) is an award-winning actor in theatre, film and television. He won raves earlier this season for his performance as Valere in David Hirson’s La Bête, on Broadway and in the West End, directed by Matthew Warchus. He won the 2008 Tony Award and Drama Desk for Best Actor in a Play and a Theatre World Award for his New York stage debut as Robert in Boeing-Boeing. He is a two-time winner of the Olivier Award for Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron in Jerusalem (2010) and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (1993). He also won the 2010 Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for Jerusalem. Rylance was the Artistic Director for Shakespeare’s Globe from 1996 to 2005 and also served as an Associate Actor of the RSC, acting in 48 plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

Rylance’s breakthrough role was Hamlet, which he played first at the Little Theatre of Milwaukee, followed by productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, A.R.T. in Cambridge and the Globe, amassing more performances in the role than any other actor in history, to date. His extensive theatre credits include Hamm in Endgame (Complicite, Duchess Theatre, West End); Peer Gynt in Peer Gynt (Guthrie); Macbeth in Macbeth (Phoebus Cart, Greenwich, UK Tour); Lee and Austin in True West (Donmar, West Yorkshire); Touchstone in As You Like It and Henry V in Henry V (Theatre for a New Audience); Constantine in The Seagull (A.R.T.); Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (RSC, UK Tour); Henry in Life x 3 (Royal National Theatre, Old Vic); Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Opera); Valentin in The Kiss of the Spider Woman (Bush Theatre); Peter Pan in Peter Pan, Ariel in The Tempest, Lucentio in Taming of the Shrew, Michael in Arden of Faversham (RSC); among others. His credits at Shakespeare’s Globe included Richard II in Richard II, Henry V in Henry V, Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice, Proteus in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra and Olivia in Twelfth Night, for which he received a 2002 Evening Standard Award. He is Co-Artistic Director for Phoebus Cart Theatre Company and the London Theatre of Imagination.

As director, his credits include: Julius Caesar (Globe), Macbeth, The Tempest (Phoebus Cart), As You Like It (Theatre for a New Audience), co-director for Much Ado About Nothing and Othello (Theatre of Imagination). Other awards include a 2009 Sam Scripps Lifetime Achievement Award from Theatre for a New Audience, a 2006 Sam Wanamaker Award for his pioneering work with Shakespeare and a 2002 Evening Standard Award for Shakespeare’s Globe.

His film work includes: Henry Condell in Anonymous, Inspector Roberts in Blitz, Frank in Nocturne, Sir Thomas Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl, Jay in Intimacy (London Film Critics’ Circle Award nomination), William in Angels and Insects, Jakob in Instituta Benjamenta, Ferdinand in Prospero’s Book and Fizz in Hearts of Fire.

For television, his credits include David Kelly in “The Government Inspector” (2006 BAFTA Award), Leonardo in “Leonardo,” Charles Raunce in “Loving,” Con in “Love Lies Bleeding,” William Blake in “In Lambeth,” and John Healy in the multi award-winning “The Glass Arena”.

Mackenzie Crook (Ginger) Theatre includes: Jerusalem (Royal Court, West End), The Seagull (Royal Court, Broadway), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (West End) and Exonerated (Riverside). Film includes: The Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, The Adventures of Tintin, City of Ember, Solomon Kane, I Could Never Be Your Woman, Churchill: The Hollywood Years, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, The Merchant of Venice, The Brothers Grimm and Finding Neverland. Television includes: “The Office,” “Demons,” “Merlin,” “Skins” and “Little Dorrit”.

Jez Butterworth (Playwright) is the author of five plays; Mojo (Royal Court 1995); The Night Heron (Royal Court 2002); The Winterling (Royal Court 2006); Parlour Song (Almeida 2009) and Jerusalem (Royal Court 2009). Mojo, The Night Heron and Parlour Song have also been produced in New York in acclaimed productions at Atlantic Theatre Company. He has written and directed two films: Mojo (1998) starring Harold Pinter and Birthday Girl (2002) starring Nicole Kidman. In 2009 he wrote and produced Fair Game, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. He is writing the screenplay for London Calling, about the British punk rock band, The Clash. He has won two Evening Standard Awards and an Olivier, Critics’ Circle, Writers’ Guild and George Devine Award. In 2007, he received The E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Director Ian Rickson’s Broadway credits include the critically acclaimed Royal Court Theatre production of Chekhov’s The Seagull, starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Peter Sarsgaard and Mackenzie Crook and Conor McPherson’s The Weir. Rickson was Artistic Director at the Royal Court from 1998 to 2006, during which time he directed Krapp’s Last Tape, The Winterling, Alice Trilogy, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, Fallout, The Night Heron, Boy Gets Girl, Mouth to Mouth (also in the West End), Dublin Carol, The Weir (also in the West End and on Broadway), The Lights, Pale Horse and Mojo (also at the Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago), Ashes & Sand, Some Voices, Killers and Wildfire. Other theatre includes The Hothouse and The Day I Stood Still (National Theatre); Parlour Song (Almeida); Hedda Gabler (Roundabout Theatre, New York); The House of Yes (Gate); Me & My Friend (Chichester Festival Theatre); Queer Fish (BAC), First Strike (Soho Poly) and the upcoming West End production of Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour. Films include Fallout and Krapp’s Last Tape. He will direct Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon) in a new production of Hamlet in London next year.

JERUSALEM’s Olivier Award-winning design is by Ultz, with lighting design by Mimi Jordan Sherin and sound design by Ian Dickinson for Autograph. Composer is Stephen Warbeck.

JERUSALEM will be produced by Royal Court Theatre Productions, Sonia Friedman Productions, Scott Rudin, Stuart Thompson, Roger Berlind and Robert G. Bartner.

Performances are Tuesday at 7:00 PM, Wednesday at 2:00 and 8:00 PM, Thursday and Friday at 7:00 PM, Saturday at 2:00 and 8:00 PM and Sunday at 3:00 PM. Tickets are now available at Additional casting will be announced in coming weeks.

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