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West End & Big Screen Beckon for Jerusalem???

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Rumours are swirling that the Royal Court production of Jez Butterworth's epic new play Jerusalem is in line for both a West End transfer and a possible movie adaptation.

The play, which stars former Globe artistic director Mark Rylance and Office star Mackenzie Crook, has proved a hit with both audiences and critics (See Review Round-up, 16 Jul 2009), and recently extended its run by a week due to popular demand.

However, a West End transfer will now have to be delayed due to Rylance's recent casting in Endgame, which opens on 15 October (previews from 2 October) at the Duchess Theatre. Rylance is taking over in the leading role of Hamm following the withdrawal of Richard Briers in the Complicite production (See News, 13 Aug 2009).

Further complications have been added by a lack of available venues. A representative of the Royal Court told Whatsonstage.com: “The simple answer is there are no theatres free in the West End this autumn, so a quick transfer is looking very unlikely.” And, on the subject of a speculated film adaptation, our source revealed, “I’ve not heard anything specific ... although it’s the kind of idea that gets floated quite frequently.”

Directed by Ian Rickson, Jerusalem centres on Johnny Byron (Rylance), a limping, caravan-dwelling ex-stuntman, all-round village rogue and modern-day Pied Piper. Described by Whatsonstage.com's Michael Coveney as “a glorious evening, a feast of British character acting at its very best”, the play, which runs at over three hours, is already being touted as a favourite for this year's awards (See Review Round-up, 16 Jul 2009).


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