Mark Rylance to reprise his role in Jerusalem 2021 revival

Posted on 23 April 2020

Sonia Friedman Productions has confirmed a brand-new revival of Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem play is in the works and will see Mark Rylance reprise his critically acclaimed role as Rooster Byron. Performance dates and a West End venue for the new production have yet to be announced but the show is set to run sometime next year in 2021.

Mark Rylance to headline Jerusalem revival next year

Not only is today Shakespeare Day, but it's also Saint George's Day! Sonia Friedman Productions couldn't have timed their announcement any better as they have now confirmed a new major London revival of Jerusalem is happening!

Jez Butterworth's award-winning play about English myths and a nomadic caravan dweller is coming back to the London stage in 2021. The play made its world premiere at the Royal Court Theatre in summer 2009 before eventually transferring to the West End for a triumphant run at the Apollo Theatrefollowed by a huge stint on Broadway and another return to The Apollo in 2011.

Mark Rylance, who won both a Tony and Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance in Jerusalem, is set to reprise his highly praised role. Ian Rickson, who directed the original London production of Jerusalem, will also return to direct the revival. Further casting along with the creative team are expected to be announced in due course.

Jerusalem was regarded as a pinnacle moment in Mark Rylance's stage career, and the news of his return to the role of Johnny "Rooster" Byron after 12 years has been met with overwhelming excitement.

Jerusalem plot in a nutshell

The story of Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem begins on the morning of a local county fair on the Feast of St. George, centring on wanted man and local waster Johnny "Rooster" Byron. The officials want to evict him, his son wants him to go to the fair with him, Troy Whitworth wants to give him a serious ass-whooping, and a motley crew of nobodies want Rooster's ample supply of booze and drugs.

Jerusalem play fun facts

The character of Rooster was based on Micky Lay, a retired builder who lived in a caravan in Pewsey. Rylance met with Lay to learn how to mimic his mannerisms for the play. He later gifted Lay with his Tony Award he won for his performance. The real-life Lay died of a heart attack in December 2013 while waiting for his favourite pub to open. The play's title was derived from William Blake's song "Jerusalem" and it makes references to the song's lyrics all throughout.

Jerusalem West End revival tickets coming soon to a box office near you!

You don't want to miss the long-awaited revival of Jerusalem, which is set to open sometime in 2021! The details may be scarce, but you can bet it's going to be big! Keep checking back on our news pages for all the latest Jerusalem play news, including casting information, a venue announcement, performance dates, ticket on-sale dates, and more.

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Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.