Thursday, January 3, 2013

'The River' by Jez Butterworth

I'm afraid to say that I hadn't read anything by Jez Butterworth until I heard about 'Jerusalem' which I loved both in writing and later on the stage. This is his next play and again I've been forced to read it rather than see it. But having done so, I'm once again glad that I have since it's once again beautifully written and enormously evocative of time spent by the side of a river in this case seeking out the rise of the sea trout. The interactions between the characters provide movement and very much maintain your interest. But for me, this is a poem to the countryside just as much as Ted Hughes' poem 'Night Arrival of Sea Trout' from which he quotes. It doesn't have the pizzaz and explosive energy of Jerusalem but that reflects the subject matter of the river and its wildlife. For me, there were echoes of TS Eliot, of Citizen Kane and I have to admit too due to the subject matter, the wonderful 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen'.

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