Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: Jerusalem

When Mark Rylance won the Tony Award for Best Actor earlier this year, I was kicking myself for not seeing him in Jerusalem on Broadway when I had the chance. Luckily, the show transferred back to the West End in October for a limited run.

We queued for ages to buy tickets before the show even opened. "what are the best seats you've got across the whole season" I asked. Turns out, the best they could do was the back row of the stalls the week between Christmas and New Year.

I knew this would mean seeing a three and a half hour play on our only night in London between trips... but quickly decided it was worth the sacrifice!

The show is difficult to describe. An unemployed bludger with a penchant for telling tall stories is squatting in a trailer on council land and has caused no end of havoc for residents in over a decade. He's banned from every pub in the town. The council are trying one last time to evict him.

Mark Rylance's hilarious drunken dramatic monologues about everything from his rare blood type to meeting a giant near Stonehenge are the glue that holds the play together. His deadbeat friends are played excellently by a relatively large troupe for a one-set show. The most memorable is Ginger, an aspiring DJ, played by Mackenzie Crook of the Pirates of the Carribean trilogy.

I don't want to spoil the show by saying anything further, except that it wasn't much like I expected at all, and that I can now understand the hype.

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