Friday 22 April 2022

Secret Blog: “The world turns. And it turns. And it moves and you don't. You're still here.”

15th October 2011. The day after my 19th birthday, I queued up on Shaftesbury Avenue for a day seat to see Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem at the Apollo Theatre. The play was still in previews for its second West End run and had just returned from a Tony-winning engagement in New York.

I wasn’t too familiar with what the play was about but was aware of the hype that surrounded Mark Rylance’s performance as Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron and the play itself. For me, it was the play that sparked a love for drama and new writing, and an interest in Butterworth’s plays which later became the subject of my Masters dissertation. When I heard that people had been queuing around the block and camping out overnight to get tickets, it didn’t surprise me. Jerusalem captured a sense of urgency I hadn’t seen reflected elsewhere and hadn’t been able to articulate myself until that point. As a coming of age play, as a political play (which was particularly heightened following the English riots that summer), and as a play about Englishness, it struck a chord for me and a generation of other young audience members hungry to see it.

Tomorrow, 23rd April 2022 – St. George’s Day no less – I’m seeing the play again back at the Apollo where Mark Rylance and Mackenzie Crook have returned to their original roles. I’d just started my first year of university back in 2011. I’m now graduated, married and a home owner. I wonder how the play has also changed since then.

“Come, you giants!”


No comments:

Post a Comment