The epic new play, billed as a “comic, contemporary vision of life in our green and pleasant land”, continues a long association between Butterworth and Rickson, the former artistic director of the Royal Court. Rickson also helmed Butterworth’s The Winterling, The Night Heron and his multi award-winning 1995 debut play Mojo, all at the Court, as well as, earlier this year, the European premiere of Butterworth’s Parlour Song at the Almeida.
In Jerusalem, Mark Rylance is Johnny Byron, a limping, caravan-dwelling ex-stuntman and all-round village rogue and modern-day Pied Piper. It’s St George's Day, the morning of the local county fair, and Johnny is a wanted man. The council officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his children want their dad to take them to the fair, Troy Whitworth wants to give him a serious kicking and a motley crew of mates – including the loyal Ginger (Mackenzie Crook) - want his ample supply of drugs and alcohol.
Prior to Jerusalem, Rylance stars as Hamm in Complicite’s production of Samuel Beckett's Endgame, from 15 October to 5 December (See News, 13 Aug 2009). Rylance’s many other stage credits include Boeing-Boeing (for which he won a Tony Award for Best Actor when it transferred to Broadway), True West, The Maids and myriad roles at Shakespeare’s Globe, where he was the founding artistic director.
Best known for his screen roles in The Office and three Pirates of the Caribbean films, Mackenzie Crook has appeared on stage in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Exonerated and, at the Court, The Seagull.