Commissioned by The National Theatre in 2009 this play burst onto the National cultural hinterland overnight and became the toast of London’s West End and Broadway.
In an unprecedented and welcome honour to The People’s Theatre playwright Jezz Butterworth has authorised this first non-professional run of Jerusalem here in the North East.
With such huge expectations, how did play and actors perform?
The play tells the story of outsider ‘Rooster’ local legend and waster who lives in an old forest threatened with extinction by the relentless encroachment of ‘development’ and social compliance.
Teller of tall tales and source of a range of good drugs he fuels himself and his motley entourage with lashings of alcohol and rage.
Rage at modern life.
Rage at local and national hypocrisies.
Rage at no longer fitting into a country that he loves.
Rooster is a man out of his time, but what is the nature and character of that time?
Jerusalem is at his heart a study of Englishness, its ancient character, poetry and values.
At heart the English are a warrior people, open minded and intolerant at the same time.
Magisterial in its scope and nuance Jerusalem is one of those works that bears the weight of all and any of its audience’s expectations and perceptions.
Humorous, wise, subtle and mesmerising.
This is a play of spells and illusion, reality and craft.
In the central role Peter Harrison as Rooster is brilliant. He possesses the role becoming the words and character written for him.
On stage for nearly three hours he holds your attention throughout from the opening breakfast scene to the banging of a drum to summon up the ancient spirits of England.
Christopher Golding as the sozzled Professor quotes poetry and heraldry lost in a dream of life.
Mitchell Kabiak as Ginger is pathetic yet loyal camp follower forever stuck in his moment.
This is a tour de force of ensemble acting and direction.
This production is a triumph for The People’s Theatre.
A play and performance to relish and enjoy.
In years to come this production will still be the toast and talk of the North East.
Tickets are available from the box office by calling 0191 2655020