It's not easy to do justice to The Ferryman in only 250 words – it would be hard in 10 times that. This is a very brief overview; to appreciate the impact of this immense production, you simply have to see it.
The Ferryman is set in Northern Ireland at the turbulent time of 1981. It follows the multilayered, tangled story of the Carney family, as they attempt to navigate both familial and political tensions. Ultimately, multiple threads of story come together to create a tense, impactful and unexpected final scene.
The play, written by Jez Butterworth and directed by Sam Mendes, is over three hours long but kept me gripped for the duration. Every character has a believable and vivid personality; you are drawn into their individual stories and, in those three hours, very much feel that you have become a part of the Carney family.
The cast of The Ferryman is exceptionally brilliant. Paddy Considine and Laura Donnelly are particularly impressive, engaging the audience in the vivacity of their characters from the moment the stage lights come up. Every member of the cast adds flavour to the show; combined with authentically atmospheric staging and lighting, you are left with a production that is engaging and convincing.
After seeing The Ferryman recently, I spent days mulling it over in my mind. The Ferryman may have only been produced this year, but it is already a classic. So if you go to see just one play this Autumn, make it this.
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