Hasland Theatre Company to perform dark comedy Jerusalem

 Lilly Beards (playing Phaedra) and Steve Cowley (playing Johnny Rooster Byron) in Hasland Theatre Company's production of Jerusalem.
Lilly Beards (playing Phaedra) and Steve Cowley (playing Johnny Rooster Byron) in Hasland Theatre Company's production of Jerusalem.

The final play of Hasland Theatre Company’s 2015-2016 season is Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth.

Originally premiering in 2009 andstarring Oscar-winning actor Mark Rylance in the lead role, the playcentres around the character of Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron, a former

daredevil, and modern day Pied Piper who lives in a caravan in the woods.

On St George’s Day, the morning of the county fair,Johnny is a wanted man. The council officials want to serve him aneviction notice, his son wants him to take him to the fair, thugTroy Whitworth wants to give him a serious kicking, and a motley crewof mates want his ample supply of drugs and alcohol.

Steve Cowley, who plays Johnny said: “Finding your way round the countryman and storyteller that is Johnny Byron is a daunting task. Ifhe was a motorcycling daredevil, we had to think about his physicality. It couldn’t all have gone well for him surely? So thelimp (which we think he maybe tries to disguise as an arrogant strut)is something that we introduced early on and continue to experiment with.”

“The dialogue of the play is extraordinary as Johnny tells fascinating stories of his past, but he is a man whose reckless life, you can’t help but feel, is catching up with him, Along with a lovely andmarvellous cast and crew as well as the normal pleasures of being partof HTC has made this challenging role a pleasure to work on.”

Nicky Beards, the play’s director added, “There are so many thingsthat make this production magnificent: the heady mix of hilarity and sadness, Steve’s performance as Johnny of course, as well as a fiercely talented supporting cast that seems to relish the Wiltshire-accented delight of Jez Butterworth’s script.

“But one of Jerusalem’s most affecting qualities is, I think, its stirring sense of place. Modern-day rural England in all its glory. That, and the other star of the show, a full-sized caravan on stage!”

Tickets (£7.50) for Jerusalem are on sale, either from thebox office 01246 272271 or online (with a small booking fee) at www.haslandtheatrecompany.co.uk.