5 Reasons to Make The Ferryman Your Next West End Play

By Harriet Wilson
Wednesday 28 February 2018

There are so many great plays in the West End that picking one to go to see can be impossible. For me, The Ferryman ticks all the right boxes so, to help you make that choice, here are five reasons why I think you should choose The Ferryman to be your next West End play.

5 Reasons to Make The Ferryman Your Next West End Play
  1. It's entirely unpredictable.
    I've seen The Ferryman twice, and I was somehow still surprised by it the second time around. This play is rich with different threads of interlocking plot and, although you can see that the threads are all related, it's unclear how they will entangle themselves with each other until the very end of the play, where everything suddenly reaches a crescendo. When I saw The Ferryman, I was surprised not just at its dramatic ending, but also throughout the play as events unfolded and new pieces of information – sometimes small and sometimes major – were added into the mix.
  2. The characters are incredible.
    In a lot of plays, the majority of characters are fairly two-dimensional, with only two or three principal characters having really in-depth stories, emotions and relationships. By contrast, in The Ferryman, the more you look the more you see; every character is a complete and complex person, never a side-kick to another character, or a tool for manipulating the plot. This is, perhaps, what makes the play so hard to predict; the characters aren't simplified, so neither is the plot. 
  3. The history is interesting.
    The Ferryman is set in Northern Ireland in 1981, against the backdrop of the IRA; in particular, the hunger strikes of the time. Although the play is centred around only one family, and the focus is very much on them, the surrounding history is still paramount to the production. Having not known a great deal about this area of history before seeing The Ferryman, I left the play wanting to find out more.
  4. It strikes the right balance of tense and funny.
    If you're wondering whether this might all be a bit too heavy for a fun evening out in London, then let me reassure you that it's not (… until the final few minutes). The Ferryman is saturated with sharp humour which perfectly offsets the tension of the play. From the very start of the play, with lamps being set on fire and chaos ensuing after a goose goes missing, the tone set is one of affectionate, familial humour in the face of complete turbulence.
  5. It's completely unique.
    The Ferryman is refreshingly unique. It blends tension with humour, and the intimacy of getting to know extremely believable characters with the painting of a far broader picture.

The Ferryman is playing at the Gielgud Theatre until 19 May 2018.


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