Closed 3h 15m
The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
88

The Ferryman (NYC) NYC Reviews and Tickets

88%
(1072 Reviews)
Positive
95%
Mixed
4%
Negative
1%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Intense, Masterful

About the Show

After a critically acclaimed run in London, Jez Butterworth’s ("Jerusalem") new Northern Irish drama comes to Broadway. Winner of four Tony Awards, including Best Play.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (1072)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
80
Engrossing, Strong acting/staging, Stereotypes (endless drinking), Realism/fantasy, Crazy ending

See it if you like highly theatrical pieces w LOTS of chars, including a baby, goose, bunny. There's singing, dancing, swearing, and endless drinking.

Don't see it if you want meaning. Not much point. The ride is fun, but the end is overdone.& unsatisfying. 3+hrs flew by. Supernatural element out of place.

98
Must see, Great writing, Great acting, Riveting, Exquisite

See it if to see a show that can only be described as theatre at its best! Spellbinding storytelling! Exquisite character development/plot/set/lights.

Don't see it if I can’t imagine anyone not liking this show. It’s long, 3.25 hours but with such a great performance that time flew by for me. Read more

Critic Reviews (78)

October 21st, 2018

"A generosity of substance and spirit rarely seen on the stage anymore...Directed with sweeping passion and meticulous care by Sam Mendes...This is theater as charged and cluttered and expansive as life itself. And the three and a quarter hours and 21 parts required to tell its story barely seem long enough to contain all it has to give us...By the end of this magnificent drama, Butterworth has connected the contradictions with a skill that takes the breath away."
Read more

October 22nd, 2018

"The whole thrilling production seems alive, as few Broadway shows do, with the clutter and scope of reality...'The Ferryman' never drags, in part because Butterworth continually shifts and expands the play’s focus...At once a romance, a thriller and a multigenrational family drama, 'The Ferryman' is also more than those things...A seismic experience at the theater...You sense the rumbles and you feel the shaking as you wait for this magnificent and harrowing play to crack open."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"A fascinating mixture of prodigious craftsmanship and brazen cultural and dramatic cliché...Butterworth’s writerly skill is almost enough to dazzle us into submission...I could feel myself responding chemically, even as my brain remained aware of a litany of cultural stereotypes...Mendes is at his best in the moment-to-moment work with these instinctive, powerful performers...It’s a head-trippy presentation of rich, authentic-seeming texture inside a romanticized, larger-than-life box."
Read more

October 29th, 2018

"Because of its length—more than three hours—the play feels epic, but the actual plot is fairly simple. Most of the time is spent in the presence of the family as they go about their business, until, suddenly, the business becomes impossible to do. Part of the art here is in how the everyday turns sinister...Death and politics are always coming for you, Butterworth’s play seems to say."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"A crackling thriller woven into the vibrant canvas of a character-driven portrait of big-family...A work almost bursting with joy and celebration, with dance and song exploding out of fierce cultural identity, and with rambunctious humor and eccentricity...Mendes and Butterworth inject a chill into seemingly lighthearted moments, steadily ratcheting up the suspense until a closing scene that leaves you shocked and breathless...This is rich, full-throated theater not to be missed."
Read more

October 22nd, 2018

"'The Ferryman' grips you, that much is true...You find yourself quickly swept up in the action of a clan of endlessly busy farmers and daughters, of characters drawn remarkably quickly and confidently...It’s a play of physical and emotional tension, a testament to Mendes’ ability to unearth the anxiety in a dance party and Butterworth’s talent for history...This is a kitchen drama that only double-faces into a thriller, and it’s a thumping good one — a well-built, well-executed."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"Glorious is not too strong a word for director Sam Mendes’s production...Flawless ensemble work by a large and splendid cast adds depth to the characters in this sprawling drama that is at once a domestic calamity and a political tragedy...The domestic dramas in this household are as primal as those in any Greek tragedy, if not as classically restrained...We can only watch in horror and dread as the extraordinary characters that Butterworth has brought to life are snuffed out."
Read more

October 25th, 2018

“A kind of Irish counterpart to ‘August: Osage County’, a...study of a close-knit rural family that is being pulled apart...It builds to an explosively potent surprise ending whose force is diminished by the fact that it takes Butterworth most of the garrulous first act to finally get down to dramatic business...See ‘The Ferryman’ by all means, for most of it is superb. Bear in mind, though, that it would have been significantly more effective had it been an hour shorter.”
Read more

October 22nd, 2018

"I wasn’t bored. Sam Mendes’ firm, generous direction and a spirited cast keep each scene crackling with physical business and roiling humor...So what’s the problem?...First is that despite the ensemble’s fine work, one can’t shake the feeling that this is an elaborate pile of Stage Irish clichés...The second issue is one of inertia...All plays are contrived, but the good ones disguise their contrivances, not revealing seams and joints every five minutes."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"A stunner, stitching familiar elements of Irish pastoral drama, The Troubles history and Butterworth’s magical, myth-tapping touches into something as powerful as anything on today’s stage...'The Ferryman' cements the playwright’s status as an unrivaled ending-writer...Not that you’ll want to rush a moment of the three hours and 15 minutes that fill 'The Ferryman' with heartrending drama, belly laughs and a foreboding that begins even before the play proper."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"'The Ferryman' is a searing social document...A riveting work of art...Butterworth weaves an enthralling tapestry of melodrama, wryness, and suspense...Butterworth and Mendes have masterminded 'The Ferryman' for maximum wallop, and the actors, to a person, are brilliant executors...One of the most ferociously rewarding climaxes of my playgoing experience. That sensation, of a tension released by consummate storytelling, is what a theater lover lives for."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"Packs more juicy and prophetic Anglo-Irish storytelling into a fantastic single night than any cable drama upon which you might ever hope to binge...An epic, three-act, three hour-and-15 minute journey, a voyage that is multitudinous enough that you feel like you’ve watched human destiny play out before your eyes, but credible and even, at times, sufficiently joyous, to make you believe that we can still find moments of happiness despite our destiny of strife."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"When it comes to theatrical flair, Jez Butterworth’s explosive 'The Ferryman' has pretty much got it all...Themes of family tension, sexual heat, divisive politics and betrayal come to climax in an unsparing finale...Masterfully directed by Oscar-winner Sam Mendes...In lesser hands, 'The Ferryman' may have come off as pure hokum, but Mendes makes it absolutely entrancing, bringing out many intense, full-bodied performances."
Read more

October 22nd, 2018

“Butterworth's richly stocked play is a gorgeous sprawling yarn that encompasses the entire spectrum of human existence...May seem long, but...the story is so engrossing, the characters so engaging, and the suspense so foreboding, you'll be left wanting more...Each member of this splendid ensemble delivers finely crafted performances...'The Ferryman' stands out as a classic all on its own!”
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"Butterworth's play is certainly epic and obviously sprawling, hypnotizing us over the course of three acts. But those words really only skim the surface of this undeniably thrilling theatrical experience, so here are some better ones: 'compelling,' 'heartbreaking,' and just 'bloody good'...Cunningly directed by Sam Mendes as a thriller disguised as a melodrama, 'The Ferryman' creates an uncommonly specific world in staggering detail...The best play running on Broadway."
Read more

October 22nd, 2018

“Butterworth takes his time unfolding details of his plot, focusing more on how a continuing political issue affects family dynamics spanning three generations, leading up to a tense and violent conclusion...Under Sam Mendes' empathetic direction, the wonderful ensemble company provides deeply-textured and entertaining performances. Despite the...length the play flies by...Its combination of warmth, romance, humor and intrigue is totally engaging."
Read more

October 29th, 2018

“May be Butterworth's most ambitious work to date, and it is, to my mind, the first that instantly looks like a masterpiece. Time will tell if that judgment sticks, but, for now, one can enjoy a drama that, in its breadth, canny construction, and sleight-of-hand storytelling towers over everything else currently on Broadway...In Sam Mendes' production -- masterfully orchestrating an ensemble of 21, plus a baby and a live rabbit -- character after character leaves an indelible mark."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"A production that embraces comedy, drama, and melodrama in equal measure...It is richly imagined, smartly directed by Sam Mendes, and smashingly performed by a cast of 22 adults, teenagers, children, and one infant...It is all so incredibly Dickensian, yet all so true-to-life...Butterworth has outdone himself here. A brilliant wordsmith...This is an ensemble work in every sense of the word...An absolutely sensational theatrical experience."
Read more

April 11th, 2019

"'The Ferryman,' now with American actors in 17 of the 22 roles, is every bit as powerful as it was when it opened on Broadway in October...The struggle between husband and wife, as brought out in the last-act dissection of their estrangement, has never played so well for me...It is a great pleasure to discover that this production remains just as strong with the replacement cast of American actors."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"There’s no denying that 'The Ferryman' is epic, and undeniably Butterworth’s best play...A wrenching family drama, whose most moving moments are its most spare and most intimate...Director Sam Mendes is a master at orchestrating chaotic scenes...You’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat during even the most sedate scenes...It ends so ferociously, in such a glorious burst of action, predictions, and promises, that a follow-up would not be unwelcome."
Read more

January 16th, 2019

“The latest stunning tour de force by Butterworth...is winning over audiences...It does it with a freshness and generosity of perspective that feel positively Shakespearian and powerfully relevant...Though the cast is extensive, each character is memorable and distinctly drawn...Only a truly remarkable play can encompass and transcend genre as this one does...’The Ferryman’ meticulously but joyously builds a minutely precise and sympathetic portrait of Irish rural life in the 80s.”
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"The breathtakingly good, devastating drama by Jez Butterworth that instantly kicks the Broadway season into high gear...It is most deeply a beautifully realized portrait of an extended Irish family living, and loving, through the long aftermath of a tragedy. The play is almost as exuberantly funny as it is powerfully theatrical, and its marvelous cast infuses the play with such life-affirming light...'The Ferryman' explores with a theatrical vitality and depth as painful as it is unforgettable."
Read more

October 31st, 2018

"Jez Butterworth's 'The Ferryman' is not a play. It is an experience, a rare experience whose aftermath will linger for days, if not weeks, in the minds of those who see it. Butterworth takes the audience into the heart of a loving family in a story that veers off into ghastly violence. He questions if it will ever end, but the title, itself, a reference to Charon who, in Greek mythology, ferries the dead across the River Styx to Hades, hints that deaths will continue."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

“A shattering masterwork...An astonishing work about storytelling...Seeing ‘The Ferryman’ a second time reveals its monumentality in a new light. Not only does the play shimmer with repeated viewing, but many of the performances have grown even more persuasive...The inevitability of the play’s harrowing final moments newly illuminate Butterworth’s meticulous but unstrained construction of each brick in this formidable fortress of a play.”
Read more

October 22nd, 2018

"While the drama surrounding Seamus that’s at the heart of 'The Ferryman' is compelling on its own, the play’s real strength is its portrayal of the Carney family: their interactions, their humor and their unyielding familial bond through thick and thin. And with it come terrific performances from the staggeringly large cast...Boosted by Mr. Butterworth’s terrific dialog, nearly all the play’s children are whip-smart, precocious, and hilarious...It is a joy to witness."
Read more

October 25th, 2018

"A tense political drama...While describing 'The Ferryman' as an epic is not a cliché, the interactions between all those characters, in and out of the spacious family room and kitchen and up and down a sky high stairway, dish up plenty of Irish story-telling cliches...So filled with rich dialogue and well defined, marvelously portrayed characters that, even when they lean towards the stereotypical and clichéd, their words and actions manage to feel integral and, yes, necessary."
Read more

October 26th, 2018

"This brilliant production...This is not so much a play as it is a communal aria. The writing is choral. The characters move in and out like wild folk dancers slipping in and out of the light. Each of the performances is crafted to perfection, and Sam Mendes direction insures that everyone has their spotlight and their glowing place by the hearth in rotation...Butterworth knits characters into characters, then into stories...then into worlds that are larger than the stage that holds them."
Read more

October 23rd, 2018

“This is storytelling at its most intricate and expansive. There isn’t a moment that should be sliced away, nor a visual you’d want to miss. It’s a delicate creation...’The Ferryman’ has so many levels...each enhancing the other like flavors in a Jameson Irish whiskey, blending aromatically for all to savor...As powerful as anything you have seen in years...All of the cast and design crew is perfection, literally filling the stage with authenticity and dimension that can’t be ignored.”
Read more

October 23rd, 2018

“Like one of those Celtic knots...‘The Ferryman’ wills and weaves itself into focus right in front of you. But the thing about a knot is that you’ve got to be careful not to leave loose ends to tug at, lest the whole thing unravel...Pull too hard, and you’ll find yourself left with two or three really strong dramatic sequences to hang your hat on, but not much else of substance. Which is also to say, a play shouldn’t unravel so easily.”
Read more

T
December 14th, 2018

“Riveting, filled with monologues that coax laughter...tease tears...and reveal secrets that bring the plot closer to the explosive climax. The cast...is impeccable...The actor’s movements are choreographed in perfect harmony capturing the bucolic life of a rural Irish family...A monumental piece of theater...A thrilling drama of crime and passion...The humor is dark, the sentiment is light, and the suffering runs deep within the characters souls...One of the must-see productions of season.”
Read more

October 27th, 2018

"A breathtaking mix of revenge action thriller, romance, melodrama, family saga, and a feast of storytelling...Butterworth’s play about farmer Quinn Carney and his sprawling, colorful family is rich, sweeping entertainment — epic, tragic….and cinematic...Some theatergoers might wonder at how plausible the ending is. But they’re likely to reflect on this only after they’ve had a chance to catch their breath back home...The most thrilling play of the Broadway season."
Read more

October 27th, 2018

“'The Ferryman,' directed by Sam Mendes, is essential theatre-going…Butterworth makes the play's three hours and 15 minutes fly as black comedy mixes with darker tragedy, familial bonds clash with unrequited desires, and music, dance, confessional sanctity, and brutality intrude into a mashup of politics, poetry, profanity, and prophecy…There are, of course, contrived and overdone elements…Regardless, even people with colds hold back their coughs…’The Ferryman’ is theater at its best.”
Read more

C
October 21st, 2018

"Admittedly, the prospect of sitting for three hours and 20 minutes (with one intermission and one brief pause) can sound daunting. But odds are you will be so involved in Butterworth's gripping family and political drama, you'll never once check your watch, which is cannily set during the height of the Northern Irish hunger strikes in 1981. Yet as brilliant as what's on the page - and I believe the less you know going in the better - it's what on the stage that really makes the difference."
Read more

October 28th, 2018

"It’s a crowd-pleaser, a potboiler, a soap opera with a razor in its pocket. It also pulls apart at its own seams...Butterworth has the gift for density...In 'The Ferryman,' though, there’s a forced quality to Butterworth’s hallmark overfullness...The play is chockablock with excitement and children underfoot, but sadly it’s also brimming with clichés...The Butterworth aesthetic is still dizzying and heady, but this time, because of the broad stereotypes, you can see the edges on the collage."
Read more

October 30th, 2018

"This cast is exquisite...Jez Butterworth knits characters into characters, then into stories, then into layers of overlapping colors, then into worlds that are larger than the stage that holds them. What you don’t realize, sitting there for 3 hours and 15 minutes that fly by, is that this knitting has trickled into every element of The Ferryman. The story has woven you into its web without your knowing it."
Read more

November 2nd, 2018

“So compelling that its three-plus hours absolutely flew by. The seamless blend of the personal with the political, the comic with the dramatic, the leisurely storytelling with the sudden shocks give it almost Shakespearean proportions...Butterworth makes almost every character a vivid, memorable presence...The playwright never hesitates to pause for a good tale, a dance or a song. The mostly British cast is so universally strong...Mendes never lets our attention lag.”
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"An extended family and their community lives and breathes on stage...It’s quite a set-up for a murder thriller, and any playwright and director who can keep an audience’s attention for three hours and 15 minutes over the course of a three-act play is doing something very right. On that score, Butterworth and Sam Mendes succeed handsomely, especially in a harrowing third act that recalls a Jacobean revenger’s tragedy. To get there, however, they do a lot of borrowing."
Read more

October 25th, 2018

"The genius of Jez Butterworth’s riveting play lies in its exuberant portrayal of a family named Carney effectively linked to the Troubles in Northern Ireland...The threads eventually mesh dramatically in a shattering climax after the build-up in the fast-paced three hours and fifteen minutes overall dynamic depiction...An experience of unusual dimension, fascinating characters made so life-like, snappy dialogue, and staging that keeps one’s attention glued to all that’s happening."
Read more

November 24th, 2018

"Amazingly, it surpassed my expectations...That’s a lot of plot and a lot of characters but Butterworth...weaves it altogether in thrillingly satisfying fashion. In fact the play serves as a master class in theatrical storytelling. Butterworth is superb with language...He’s equally adept with plotting. Not a word in this nearly three-and-a-half-hour play is wasted...His brilliant script is brought to life by an equally brilliant cast...I can’t remember the last time I walked out of a theater so exhilarated."
Read more

October 30th, 2018

"Three hours and 15 minutes have never flown by as quickly in a theatre as they do at 'The Ferryman,' nor felt more ecstatic and full...This is the rare kind of play that manages to successfully capture the totality of human existence through the lens of a single event, or culmination of events..Ecstatic and richly thrillingly...‘The Ferryman’ is a titanic dramatic achievement, and a must-see event of the season. In short: a masterpiece without present peer on Broadway.”
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"A rollicking, moving, enveloping masterpiece, an emphatic herald of the strength and power of original playwriting...Do whatever you can to see it; much-loved relations, prepare to be sold. Rarely is theater so beautifully written, brilliantly acted and directed, and impressively mounted...A feast of dramatic forms and shapes...So full of textured, watchable characters telling stories of modern times and times of yore, that one leaves the play wishing to watch hours more of it."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"Butterworth’s densely-layered story is heavily laden with symbolism, filled with dark humor and rampant horror, and rich with insights into the human condition, antithetical perceptions of justice, and the psychology of all-consuming hatred, vengeance, and violence...Under the rich and compelling direction of Mendes, a stellar all-ages ensemble brings Butterworth’s writing and characters to life...The cast’s characterizations are eloquent and engaging, with not a weak link among them."
Read more

October 31st, 2018

"Jez Butterworth’s masterpiece 'The Ferryman,' superbly directed by Sam Mendes, has transferred. This smashing production confronts important themes about politics and violence for our times, for all times...Beautifully staged with the clutter of fun and bounty of children’s drawings, the production convincing shows us a convivial, lively family...Mendes has shepherded the actors to terrific performances and created a potent, masterful production that must not be missed. "
Read more

October 22nd, 2018

"This beautifully written tragedy strikes gold on every level. It reminds us of theater’s power to show us who we are – and who we can, and cannot, be...The play doesn’t take sides. Its sympathies lie with the human beings who take part...Butterworth is weaving a crowded tapestry with room for all strains of human nature...Mendes’ sharp-edged but big-hearted direction aided by a superb creative team leads 'The Ferryman' to the pinnacle of the Broadway season."
Read more

November 1st, 2018

"Slowly secrets emerge, and in its length of three plus hours, the audience is enticed by the lusty, hard-drinking family...Choreography, lighting, and sound design play large parts in heightening the submerged passions and sudden drama of Jez Butterworth's memorable work. Crime, loss, and violence are unveiled secrets with this family burdened with memories of the bloody Irish rebellion, guilt, demands for justice, and an explosive redemption ties up with ubiquitous humanity."
Read more

T
January 9th, 2019

“'The Ferryman’ is a staggering achievement, everything a Broadway play should be and more...Mendes superbly navigates the play’s many complexities, making three hours and fifteen minutes virtually float by...An ensemble piece, not dependent on any individual performances, although a baby and a goose stand out. That said, it is a treat to see English actor Considine make his stage debut as Quinn...Butterworth delivered what is currently the best play on Broadway.”
Read more

October 22nd, 2018

"As melodrama, then, 'The Ferryman' is crackerjack theater, riveting for most of its three-hour-plus runtime. But as a reflection on national themes, I'm not quite sure it holds up."
Read more

October 22nd, 2018

"Pretty compelling stuff and clearly one of the theatrical events of the season...The play manages to be playful, confrontational, dramatic, eerie, romantic, and deeply political...The writing in the first act might dawdle on a bit, but Mendes’ direction is strong throughout, and the 30-plus member cast are all startlingly good...One thing is certain: You’ll gasp in the closing minutes, bloke."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"A sweeping family epic, vast in scope and characters...The vivid family dynamics brought to life with care by a cast that has no weak links and by director Sam Mendes...There is loss and revenge and a relentless demand for justice that comes at a painful cost, which if you consider the history, is exactly on point. More relevant, perhaps, is that after watching this story unfold for more than three hours, I was surprisingly reluctant to let the Carney family go."
Read more

T
November 15th, 2018

"For those who relish enormously satisfying plays stuffed with full-blooded characters, the successor to the throne has arrived. The Ferryman...should be on your must-see list...Monologues, from comedic to tragic, occasionally mystical and often jarringly intense, are riveting throughout...Directed by Sam Mendes, the production is first-rate. The acting is uniformly superb...It will touch your heart, stimulate your brain and maybe even provide a mirror for societal reflection."
Read more

W
October 27th, 2018

"Butterworth's new family drama is an explosive, immersive experience that manages to be both mythic in scope and yet completely grounded in the everyday. It's a finely crafted piece of writing and an extraordinarily well-realized production...A warm, funny and poignant set of overlapping and interwoven tales that combine into a bountiful tapestry...Mendes creates an almost cinematic realism here, despite a few supernatural elements...This production is extraordinary — don't miss it."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"On Broadway this season, there’s unlikely to be a family drama teeming with more life than this...A deeply personal story on to an account of the divided Northern Ireland of the 1970s...It’s a big play: there are 21 speaking characters...This sense of overflowing dramatic richness is perfect for Broadway...But the production’s epic sense of scale, with Rob Howell’s looming domestic kitchen interior filling the stage, is offset by the intimacy and detail of the performances."
Read more

October 29th, 2018

"While the cast size, run time, and setting of the play may feel new, just about everything else feels perhaps too familiar...Despite the play’s potentially formulaic nature and stereotypical characters, it is still quite a gripping drama. The play includes an almost never-ending exposition ,  but it has some pay off of emotional drama in the third act, not to mention a very sudden climax...Although the play serves a large heap of drama, it does not feel new, nor does it justify its size or length."
Read more

October 26th, 2018

"Butterworth’s third Broadway drama is also his most provocative...Butterworth’s saga is a multi-layered, searing reminder of centuries-old animosities, exquisitely directed and produced...Granted, some of what is presented here seems riddled in Irish clichés, but the narrative is often compelling and there is a haunting sincerity to the characters and their predicament...Mendes brilliantly directs the amazing ensemble of actors."
Read more

November 13th, 2018

"Brilliantly helmed by Sam Mendes, the production...has the span of an epic work, and the universality of appeal...With a large ensemble, nearly two dozen actors, the ongoing life at the farm feels buoyant and celebratory...It’s consistently engrossing...Butterworth’s drama is so artfully plotted that it all falls into place irrevocably."
Read more

January 16th, 2019

“One of the best plays of the last decade...Over 3¼ gripping hours, we are introduced to a rich panoply of characters, every single one a convincing individual...The acting from a fantastic cast is strong from top to bottom...Combining the weight of a Greek tragedy and the scope of a Russian novel, ‘The Ferryman’ is a very special theatrical experience and one that should not be missed."
Read more

F
November 8th, 2018

"An epic of classic proportion...Its historical theater of Shakespearean proportion; in breadth and story, it’s operatic. It stings with Butterworth’s characteristically smart, cracking comedy and hails from the stage with an ambition to not just forge some mammoth piece of theater, but to weave an intricate, mystical story that reads like canon literature. It’s true that Butterworth’s script would fall without the enormous talent of this 21-person cast."
Read more

G
October 21st, 2018

“’Ferryman’ is a well laid out story. The play takes the audience on an emotional rollercoaster...Butterworth does a masterful job in giving us each and every character throughout the show. The play is as funny as it is poignant; confrontational as it is enlightening...It is well written, directed, and acted, it stands high above the rest. The story's plot line is the conflict of the Carney family and the IRA, but it is more then that, much more...A gripping masterpiece.”
Read more

January 13th, 2019

“One of the most thrilling evenings of theater...The beauty of the work is the perfect sense of orchestration, coupled with an indelible and authentic feeling of lives truly lived. ‘The Ferryman’...moves seamlessly from extended monologues and intimate, two-character conversations, to massive scenes...Butterworth brings to all of it an ear for the poetry of common speech...Even more, he, Mendes, and the superb cast unerringly find the heart of every character and situation.”
Read more

October 22nd, 2018

"Three hours plus is barely enough stage time to contain this period in the lives of the extended, unruly, Carney family, portrayed in exquisite, terrifying detail...To say that the cast is magnificent in the varied roles is to understate the effect of the actors inhabiting them...Perhaps the most devastating scene comes in the second act when the young men of the family are roistering together over ale and shots of Bushmills, and personifying the divisions among the Irish."
Read more

November 20th, 2018

"You become so involved in this large, Irish family celebrating on a harvest day that you don’t want the experience to end...It’s rare when every piece of a theatrical performance falls into place—in this case glorious writing, a terrific cast and the brilliant direction of Sam Mendes. After such a long play, I’m usually ready to leave the theater. This time, I just wanted to see it again."
Read more

W
January 24th, 2019

"English playwright Jez Butterworth has created an amazing tale of an Irish family in the midst of the 1980's Troubles that is full and vital and fascinating...complex and filled tapestry that carries the story forward and while carefully crafted, feels natural and warm…See it soon. You will be glad you did."
Read more

October 25th, 2018

"It’s an epic tale that pulsates danger and romance. It’s big. It has 21 speaking parts, each one is essential to the story told. It’s long – three hours and 15 minutes – and there are times it shows its length, but when finished you realize not a moment should be cut...It does what good theater should do - it tells a compelling story...It’s intelligent without being pretentious and specific while being universal. It’s a complicated tale, but you never lose the story."
Read more

October 31st, 2018

"This incredible thriller, with Sam Mendes at the helm, is a ticket not to be missed...As wonderfully cohesive and skilled as the large ensemble is, the real star of the show is Butterworth’s writing. The Tony nominee dives deep into the dark and tragic tale of generational violence in Ireland...The journey on 'The Ferryman,' though three hours and fifteen minutes with one intermission and one pause, is a straight shot — gripping every minute."
Read more

November 5th, 2018

"It doesn't matter that Jez Butterworth's play is about as subtle as a brick hurled through an Orange Hall window. It doesn't matter that it's not really an Irish play in any sense at all, but rather a sort of late Shakespearean comedy festooned with vaguely Irish avatars superimposed over an arrestingly weird mashup of influences that include Cold Comfort Farm, The Brady Bunch and High Noon...The plot of 'The Ferryman' is on its face ridiculous."
Read more

October 21st, 2018

"Butterworth’s script is rich and varied...never slackening in pace. For such grim subject matter, it’s a play packed full of humour thanks to the playwright’s deft portrait of this enthralling clan of three-dimensional characters. Sam Mendes’ production is flawless, giving everyone room to breathe, yet exploding with a wild and joyous energy when the Carneys decide to let down their hair...Butterworth’s new work can lay claim to being one of the great plays of the 21st century."
Read more

A
October 22nd, 2018

“Under Mendes’s direction, Butterworth’s play moves inexorably...from ebullient merriment to blinding clarity...This is a big, long play whose size and length you can feel...But 'The Ferryman’'s occasional longueurs, unfortunately, give us time to notice flaws...The play’s portrait of an idyllic, apolitical Irish farm life threatened chiefly by other Irishmen feels askew...It is a tragic vision, to be sure, but delivered in such a sumptuous feast of a production that it is hard to resist."
Read more

C
December 21st, 2018

“Butterworth’s ‘The Ferryman’ is the most important drama to emerge on Broadway in many seasons, not merely because of its innate theatrical excitement, but it is also a major work for its talented author...What makes ‘The Ferryman’ crackle are the tough tensions Butterworth imposes on his play. Scene after scene, the play never abates and it has brilliantly detailed staging...Magnificently acted by a flawless ensemble...One of the stunning dramas of our time.”
Read more

November 11th, 2018

"This thrilling play with deep roots in Irish history and tragedy...'The Ferryman' requires a master director because it’s a deeply layered play with a cast of 22, which includes several children...Irish history figures prominently in the story, so you may want to brush up on the modern history of those troubled countries...In act one, I had a bit of trouble getting used to the Irish dialects, but the act is a long and important introduction to the various threads of the story...Outstanding cast."
Read more

C
January 25th, 2019

“Raucous shenanigans aside, lurking behind every plot twist and poetic monologue are fresh and fermented Irish Republican issues...Characters range from infant to elderly, the latter a trio of diverse siblings...Brilliantly directed by Sam Mendes, daybreak comes on an intimate scene between Quinn and his sister-in-law Caitlin...The interaction morphs into a trickle of family and others until the stage bursts with food, music, whiskey, dance, lust, fury, sadness, and danger.”
Read more

B
October 22nd, 2018

“Epic drama...As directed by Mendes, it has more humor and vitality than one might expect from a play set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles....Some accuse Butterworth of perpetuating stereotypes with the boozing, wild Irish dancing and allusions to fairies...Whatever the flaws, the highly theatrical ‘Ferryman’ is eminently watchable...If it doesn’t go home with a boatful of Tony Awards in June, it will have been a very strong Broadway season indeed.”
Read more

November 3rd, 2018

"The play’s large ensemble isn’t a gimmick, but rather a necessary device for Butterworth to explore the complexity of everyday, familiar (and familial) extremism working on a community...The resulting climax is a bit awkward and forced — Butterworth’s writing can often feel heavy-handed, and here he falls just short of managing both pathos and subtlety. But that flaw doesn’t detract from the many merits of this play, which is frequently beautiful, hilarious, and poignant all in the same breath."
Read more

October 22nd, 2018

“Carney was played with detailed nuance by Considine as he held a seriously fierce ensemble together while his life unfolded along with his very large extended family...The cliffhanger the audience is left with makes the already astonishing show worth it...From acting to sets, to sound, to lighting to a superb script, and of course the master direction of Mendes, I have no doubt it will repeatedly be recognized in the coming years as one of the great literary works of the century.”
Read more

November 8th, 2018

"Once or twice every decade, a play arrives that is so rich, complex, and beautifully rendered one is reminded of the theater’s primal power to touch the soul... Combining realism with myth and writing both emotionally raw and lyrical, over the course of three and a quarter hours 'The Ferryman' sweeps the audience into its heartbreaking tale...The cast is spectacular...This is a play rife with imagery that is almost cinematic."
Read more

1
February 21st, 2019

“A big, thrilling experience in every way — crowded the way life is, with people and food, memories and stories, politics and poetry...Mendes’ production is a wild and irresistible swirl of characters...And that’s not including the animals in the cast...Mendes’ production revels in the way Butterworth’s play ripples with the sense that the past is alive, and still bloody, in Ireland. The ending is shattering.”
Read more

V
February 15th, 2019

“’The Ferryman’ explodes in sudden disclosures, confessions, and reprisals – a bit too much at once. But that’s a quibble with one of the richest theatrical experiences I can remember...Almost every minute of Butterworth’s three-hours-plus epic is bursting with energy, passion and yes, humor and heart aplenty...This season’s must-see Broadway hit...The cast, across-the-board-fabulous.”
Read more

H
February 22nd, 2019

“A raucous family comedy, a melodrama of forbidden love, a political thriller, and a classic tragedy lamenting the sins of fathers, all in one...Donnelly is just one member of the strongest large cast in a Broadway production in years...Considine has perhaps the largest challenge in playing Quinn...But the fault lies with Butterworth, not with Considine who is electric...A truly universal tragedy, grounded in a thousand brilliantly observed details...Intensely gutsy and vital.”
Read more

M
October 19th, 2018

"An ambitious production...The lengthy 3 hour play is convoluted and a complex mixture of components. The Carney family works hard, drinks heavily, and celebrates joyously. The dancing following the harvest uplifts an otherwise sombre play...Somehow strewn altogether the combined elements in 'The Ferryman' creates an intoxicating brew but one that casts confusion like a lingering hangover."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

83
Great
1K+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: East Village

This family-friendly show celebrates the power of percussion and the sheer joy of banging on things.

Buy
82
Great
500+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: Midtown W

An actor drinks heavily (in the vein of Comedy Central's 'Drunk History') and then tries to corral others into…

Buy
81
Great
26 Reviews
Opens Aug 09
NYC: Upper W Side

Shakespeare in the Park is back this summer with Jocelyn Bioh's joyous adaptation of "Merry Wives."

Buy