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THE RIVER Roundup: Everything You Need to Know About Hugh Jackman's Next Play!

May 9
2:27 PM 2014

The official announcement came last night that the Royal Court Theatre production of The River, a new play by Jez Butterworth, starring Hugh Jackman, Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo, and directed by Ian Rickson, will open on Sunday, November 16 on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre (West 50th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue). Previews begin Friday, October 31. The production will play a strictly limited 13-week engagement through Sunday, January 25, 2015.

A remote cabin on the cliffs, a man and a woman, and a moonless night. Jez Butterworth's The River asks when we find each other, are we trying to recapture someone we once lost? The writer director team who brought youJerusalem returns with a bewitching new story.

BroadwayWorld wants you to be in the know about Jackman's next play. Below, check out a roundup of reviews from the 2012 production, as well as photos of the UK cast in action!

Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard: In Ian Rickson's finely judged production these purple moments are savoured, and so are Butterworth's ambiguities. The River is a chamber piece, better suited to the upstairs studio space at the Royal Court than a larger stage. Still, it's a shame that more people won't get to see this absorbing play, which is subtly eloquent about duplicity, memory, myth-making and the theatrical nature of relationships.

Paul Taylor, Independent: In its pacing, Rickson's production is beautifully responsive to the musicality of the play's patterning and Dominic West turns in a compellingly layered performance as the Man. It's agonising when he tells Laura Donnelly's raven-haired, mischievous and searchingly speculative Other Woman that he will be a ghost making love to a succession of impostors if she leaves him. This is not just on account of the dreadful way his deceptions get through the rational defences of his victims. It's because you feel that there's a hunger for honesty but that he is helpless to stop these inauthenticities. Plus, you reckon that this serial liar has a weakness for being found out.

Michael Billington, Guardian: The play kept me on tenterhooks and Ian Rickson's production is finely calibrated. The acting is also impeccable. West proves not only expert at gutting fish but also has an air of rugged masculinity that conceals a profound sadness, insecurity and sense of loss. The two women are also perfectly contrasted. Raison has the sharp, probing intensity that befits a character who brings To the Lighthouse with her on a fishing holiday, while Donnelly is more skittish, flirty and lighter in texture.

Susannah Clapp, Observer: n a Rickson production, sensations roll off the stage and into the stalls. "Have a good time in the cabin," someone said to me as I went into the auditorium. Fifteen years ago, Rickson's production of Conor McPherson's The Weir brokered a new intimacy with the audience, making them feel they were lounging in a country pub. Now he inveigles spectators into sharing the splintery space - compact but big enough to contain a welcoming range and a dark secret under the bed - that has been skilfully designed by Ultz to suggest the wildness of an English rural retreat. Charles Balfour's lighting wraps the action in a glow fringed with darkness: it is perpetual sunset; bad news always seems about to break. Ian Dickinson's imaginative sound design makes a deep interior experience. Even before the house lights go down, the play begins to penetrate the audience with the murmur of birdsong, the sound of water gushing.

Aleks Sierz, The Stage: As usual, Butterworth is extremely well served by director Ian Rickson, who creates a wonderful mood that mixes masculine confidence and female truth-telling with a pervading sense of loss. The play is perfectly paced and the sight of West gutting a fresh fish before cooking it for his new lover is a potent image of his character's attempt to make a real emotional connection.

Photo Credit: Alastair Muir

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