Thursday, January 24, 2013

'Jerusalem' - as good as it gets

I live in North Devon so had to read Jez Butterworth's big hit Jerusalem before I was finally fortunate enough to see it in London last year. I'm glad I did as the play is so beautifully written that the characters flew off the page. So much so that only an actor as brilliant as Mark Rylance could have taken the written words to an even higher level. This play is a song to our rural way of life. It's funny, tragic, honest, direct and utterly mesmerising. It harks back to folk tales and myths and yet is completely modern. The only way I can really describe the experience of both reading and then seeing the play is perhaps by imagining that it gives the sort of wonder that audiences must have felt when they first stumbled upon Shakespeare's plays over 400 years ago. This is truly the best play I have ever read, the best play I have seen and for what it's worth to this book review, Mark Rylance's performance was the best performance I have witnessed.

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