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The Night Heron

The Night Heron
Your Price: $19.95 CDN
Author: Jez Butterworth
Publisher: Nick Hern Books
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 96
Pub. Date: 2003
ISBN-10: 1854596993
ISBN-13: 9781854596994
Cast Size: 1 woman, 6 men

About the Play:

The Night Heron is a full-length drama by Jez Butterworth. Two unemployed gardeners struggle to survive on pennies and poached rabbits. Forced to take in a lodger, their private world is revealed and turned upside down. A dark, funny, spellbinding play about a group of outcasts and eccentrics gathered in the swampy marshlands of England. From the author of the Olivier Award-winning Mojo.

The Night Heron tells the tale of two gardeners battling an oppressive religious cult. The sighting of a rare bird attracts attention to the bleak countryside east of Cambridge University. The visiting birdwatchers cannot know what dangers lie in the freezing darkness of the marshes where two laid-off Cambridge University gardeners struggle to survive the winter in a ramshackle cabin. Wattmore, bruised and bleeding, is recording the Old Testament. Griffin arrives with fish and chips. To help make ends meet, they enter a local poetry competition and take in a female lodger, the intense and mysterious ex-convict Bolla Fogg, who subsequently kidnaps a student at a Cambridge poetry society meeting with the hopes of having him write the winning poem. Meanwhile, the local townsfolk are stirring... one of the gardeners, who has become involved in a mad cult religion, stands accused of sexually abusing a young boy and the town is out for revenge.

The Night Heron was first staged in 2002 at the Royal Court Jerwood Theater Downstairs in London. The American premiere was in 2003 off Broadway at The Atlantic Theater Company in New York City.

Cast: 1 woman, 6 men

What people say:

"…dark, funny, spellbinding… A beautiful, haunting play." — The Sunday Times

"It's funny, it's sad, it's haunting and it is also strangely beautiful. Best of all, it is quite unlike anything you have seen before... Butterworth weaves together his complex narrative, and moods that range from the absurdly humorous to the downright apocalyptic, with beguiling skill. The characterisation is deftly comic, the dialogue fizzes with wit, yet there is depth and stage poetry here too." — The Daily Telegraph

"Jez Butterworth's long-awaited follow-up to his dazzling 1995 debut, Mojo, is a tragicomic fantasy that feels like a cross between David Rudkin and Sam Peckinpah. Powerfully written and wonderfully imaginative, it is a fascinating play…." — The Stage

"A dark and probing examination of the dynamics of friendship and the human condition. The Night Heron is filled with interesting characters that reveal their secrets slowly and teasingly. It's provocative stuff…." — Next Magazine

About the Playwright:

Jez Butterworth is a leading English playwright, screenwriter, and film director whose work is characterized by its distinctive language, dark comedic themes, and lowlife characters. His work has frequently been compared to that of his mentor – playwright Harold Pinter – and to the films of Guy Ritchie. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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