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About The Ferryman

Northern Ireland, 1981.

The Carney farmhouse is a hive of activity with preparations for the annual harvest. A day of hard work on the land and a traditional night of feasting and celebrations lie ahead. But this year they will be interrupted by a visitor.

Following unanimous, five-star critical acclaim and a thrice-extended, year-long run in London, Jez Butterworth’s "The Ferryman" finally debuts on Broadway this October. This “fiercely gripping play” (Ben Brantley, The New York Times) is directed by Academy and Tony Award winner Sam Mendes and has won three Olivier Awards, including Best New Play and Best Director; three Evening Standard Theatre Awards, including Best Play and Best Director; three WhatsOnStage Awards, including Best New Play and Best Director; and was named the Best New Play at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards.

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Set during The Troubles, the 30-year war that tore Northern Ireland apart, “The Ferryman” opens with the discovery of a dead body. Quinn Carney’s brother, Seamus, was one of the Disappeared — a term referring to those believed to have been abducted, murdered, and secretly buried by the Irish Republican Army — until now, the same day as Quinn’s yearly harvest. The past literally comes back to haunt Quinn, a former IRA activist turned farmer, when an unexpected visitor shows up in Jez Butterworth’s latest play exploring politics in 1980s Ireland.

Directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes, Butterworth’s newest work comes to Broadway following great acclaim in London’s West End and winning three 2018 Olivier Awards, including Best New Play. “The Ferryman” premiered at the Royal Court in spring 2017 before immediately transferring to the West End Gielgud Theatre.

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What To Watch For

  • The play is partly based on the experiences of playwright Jez Butterworth’s partner at the time, actor Laura Donnelly, whose uncle disappeared seven months before she was born. Donnelly also starred in the show’s premiere.
  • “The Ferryman” premiered in spring 2017 at the Royal Court, where playwright Jez Butterworth’s “The River” and “Jerusalem” also premiered before receiving Broadway engagements.
  • The production features a large cast for a play, with more than 30 members, as well as a live rabbit and a goose.
  • At the 2018 Olivier Awards, the show took home three awards — for Best New Play, Best Actress, and Best Director.

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Run Time

3hr 15min (incl. one intermission and one 5 minute pause between acts 2 and 3)

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Age

Recommended for ages 10+. Children under 4 are not permitted in the theatre.

Extended Performance Window

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October

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