The Ferryman
Official production artwork
Written byJez Butterworth
Date premiered24 April 2017
Place premieredRoyal Court Theatre
Original languageEnglish
SettingRural County Armagh, 1981

The Ferryman is a 2017 play by Jez Butterworth. Set during The Troubles, it tells the story of the family of a former IRA terrorist, living in their farmhouse in rural County Armagh, Northern Ireland in 1981.[1]

Production History

London (2017)

The Ferryman had its world premiere at the Royal Court Theatre on 24 April 2017 running to 20 May, directed by Sam Mendes.[2] It was the fastest-selling play in Royal Court Theatre history.[3] The cast included Paddy Considine, Laura Donnelly (the disappearance of her real-life uncle, Eugene Simons, was the inspiration for Butterworth's plot),[4] Genevieve O'Reilly, Bríd Brennan, Fra Fee, John Hodgkinson, Stuart Graham, Gerard Horan, Carla Langley, Des McAleer, Conor MacNeill, Rob Malone, Dearbhla Molloy, Eugene O'Hare and Niall Wright.[5]

West End (2017-2018)

The production transferred to the Gielgud Theatre, opening on 29 June 2017, following previews from 20 June.[3] After a first cast change on 9 October 2017 with William Houston (Quinn Carney), Sarah Greene (Caitlin Carney), Ivan Kaye (Tom Kettle) and others joining the company,[6] a second cast change took place on 8 January 2018, featuring Rosalie Craig (as Caitlin Carney), Owen McDonnell (as Quinn Carney), Laurie Kynaston (as Oisin Carney), Saoirse-Monica Jackson (as Shena Carney) Sean Delaney (as Michael Carney), Kevin Creedon (as JJ Carney), Francis Mezza (as Shane Corcoran), Terence Keeley (as Diarmaid Corcoran), and Justin Edwards.[7] The production closed on 19 May 2018.

Broadway (2018-2019)

The production transferred to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway, beginning previews on 2 October 2018. The play, which went on to win four Tony Awards, closed on 7 July 2019.[8][9]

Cast and characters

Role World Premiere West End Broadway
2017 2018
Aunt Maggie Far Away Brid Brennan Fionnula Flanagan
Lawrence Malone Turlough Convery Glenn Speers
Michael Carney Fra Fee
Muldoon Stuart Graham
Tom Kettle John Hodgkinson Justin Edwards
Shena Carney Carla Langley
Diarmaid Corcoran Conor MacNeill
Aunt Pat Dearbhla Molloy
Mary Carney Genevieve O'Reilly
Quinn Carney Paddy Considine
Caitlin Carney Laura Donnelly
Shane Corcoran Tom Glynn-Carney
Father Horrigan Gerard Horan Charles Dale
Uncle Pat Des McAleer Mark Lambert
Oisin Carney Rob Malone Rob Malone
Frank Magennis Eugene O'Hare Dean Ashton
JJ Carney Niall Wright
Mercy Carney Elise Alexandre
Darcey Conway
Darcy Jacobs
Scarlett Nunes
Scarlett Jolly
Willow McCarthy
Honor Carney Sophia Ally
Grace Doherty
Matilda Lawler
Nunu Carney Clara Murphy
Angel O'Callaghan
Isla Griffiths
Brooklyn Shuck
Declan Corcoran Michael McCarthy
Xavier Moras Spencer
Jack Nuttall
Michael Quinton McArthur

Notable cast replacements

West End (2017-2018)

Broadway (2018-2019)

Awards and nominations

Original London production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2017 Evening Standard Theatre Award[11][12] Best Play Jez Butterworth Won
Best Actress Laura Donnelly Nominated
Best Director Sam Mendes Won
Emerging Talent Tom Glynn-Carney Won
Critics’ Circle Theatre Award[13] Best New Play Jez Butterworth Won
2018 Laurence Olivier Award[14] Best New Play Won
Best Actor Paddy Considine Nominated
Best Actress Laura Donnelly Won
Best Actor in a Supporting Role John Hodgkinson Nominated
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Bríd Brennan Nominated
Dearbhla Molloy Nominated
Best Director Sam Mendes Won
Best Set Design Rob Howell Nominated
WhatsOnStage Award[15] Best New Play Won
Best Supporting Actor in a Play Fra Fee Won
Best Director Sam Mendes Won

Original Broadway production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2019 Tony Award[16] Best Play Won
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play Paddy Considine Nominated
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play Laura Donnelly Nominated
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play Fionnula Flanagan Nominated
Best Direction of a Play Sam Mendes Won
Best Scenic Design of a Play Rob Howell Won
Best Costume Design of a Play Won
Best Lighting Design of a Play Peter Mumford Nominated
Best Sound Design of a Play Nick Powell Nominated
Drama Desk Award[17] Outstanding Play Won
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Tom Glynn-Carney Won
Outstanding Director of a Play Sam Mendes Won
Outstanding Sound Design in a Play Nick Powell Won
Drama League Award[18][19] Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play Won
Distinguished Performance Paddy Considine Nominated
New York Drama Critics' Circle Award[20] Best Play Jez Butterworth Won
Outer Critics Circle Award[21] Outstanding New Broadway Play Won
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Fionnula Flanagan Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Play Sam Mendes Won
Outstanding Scenic Design (Play or Musical) Rob Howell Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design (Play or Musical) Nominated
Theatre World Award[22] Paddy Considine Honouree
Tom Glynn-Carney Honouree


  1. ^ Billington, Michael (3 May 2017). "The Ferryman review – Butterworth and Mendes deliver shattering tale of passion and violence". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  2. ^ Hewis, Ben (31 October 2017). "Sam Mendes to direct Jez Butterworth play in new Royal Court season". Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Jez Butterworth's The Ferryman transfers to The Gielgud Theatre". London Theatre. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  4. ^ Dex, Robert (4 May 2017). "How The Ferryman was inspired by true life story from one of the cast". Evening Standard. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Cast and West End transfer confirmed for Sam Mendes' The Ferryman". 8 February 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  6. ^ "New cast announced for The Ferryman". Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Casting Update for The Ferryman - Royal Court". Royal Court. 28 November 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Tickets Released for Broadway Transfer of Jez Butterworth's The Ferryman - Royal Court". Royal Court. 5 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  9. ^ Clement, Olivia. "Tony-Winning 'The Ferryman' Ends on Broadway July 7" Playbill, July 7, 2019
  10. ^ "New Cast Announced for THE FERRYMAN on Broadway | Shubert Organization". Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  11. ^ Dex, Robert (17 November 2017). "Here's the shortlist for the 2017 Evening Standard Theatre Awards". Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  12. ^ Thompson, Jessie (4 December 2017). "These are the winners of the 2017 Evening Standard Theatre Awards". Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  13. ^ "2017 Results | Critics' Circle Theatre Awards". 31 January 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Olivier Awards 2018: Winners in full". BBC News. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Winners of the 18th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards announced: David Tennant and Olivia Colman win". Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Hadestown, Ain't Too Proud & Tootsie Lead 2019 Tony Award Nominations".
  17. ^ Fierberg, Ruthie. " 'Tootsie', 'Hadestown', and 'The Ferryman' Lead 2019 Drama Desk Award Winners" Playbill, June 2, 2019
  18. ^ Lefkowitz, Andy (17 April 2019). "Nominations Announced for 85th Annual Drama League Awards". Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  19. ^ Hipes, Patrick (17 May 2019). "'Hadestown', 'The Ferryman', Bryan Cranston Top Drama League Awards". Deadline. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  20. ^ "Past Awards". Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  21. ^ "Hadestown Leads Winners of 2019 Outer Critics Circle Awards". Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  22. ^ McPhee, Ryan (2 May 2019). "Jeremy Pope, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Bonnie Milligan, More Earn 2019 Theatre World Awards". Playbill. Retrieved 31 March 2021.