Speaking to The Times recently, Butterworth said: "I could have put it on anywhere, but I couldn’t write it. I got halfway through and I couldn’t get any further. But when I went and saw the Royal Court’s Theatre Upstairs I knew that’s where it wanted to be."
Predicted audience demand for The River, which opens on Friday (26 October 2012, previews from 18 October), was so high that the Royal Court took the controversial decision to only sell tickets on the day of performance.
"Having made the decision that it needed to be upstairs, it was like: what can we do to make the tickets available?" Butterworth said. "This way you’ve got some chance. Even on the last night this play won’t be sold out."
The River, which is directed by Ian Rickson and stars Laura Donnelly, Miranda Raison and Dominic West, runs until 17 November. Tickets are available online at 9am the day of performances, with an allocation being sold at the Royal Court box office an hour later.
Rumours of a West End transfer have not been confirmed by the Court.