Jez Butterworth’s ‘The River’ to open on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre from 31 October, 2014









Sonia Friedman Productions will present the Royal Court Theatre production of THE RIVER, a new play by Jez Butterworth, starring Hugh Jackman, Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo, and directed by Ian Rickson

THE RIVER will open on Sunday, November 16 on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre (West 50th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue).  

Previews begin Friday, October 31.  The production will play a strictly limited 13-week engagement through Sunday, January 25, 2015.  

On sale dates will be announced in coming weeks. 


THE RIVER was first developed by Sonia Friedman Productions and was subsequently produced by the Royal Court Theatre. 

It was presented from October 18-November 17, 2012 in the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, in a production directed by Mr. Rickson, also featuring Ms. Donnelly, who makes her Broadway debut alongside Ms. Jumbo. 

The producers are pleased to announce that a limited number of $35 day of seats will be available for every performance of THE RIVER.  Further details will be announced shortly. 

The production marks the sixth collaboration between Mr. Butterworth and Mr. Rickson.   Mr. Rickson has previously directed the world premiere productions of Mr. Butterworth’s Mojo, The Night Heron, The Winterling, Parlour Song and the multi-award-winning London and Broadway production of Jerusalem.

A remote cabin on the cliffs, a man and a woman, and a moonless night.  Jez Butterworth’s THE RIVER asks when we find each other, are we trying to recapture someone we once lost?  The writer director team who brought you Jerusalem returns with a bewitching new story.

Circle in the Square’s unique configuration and intimacy has made it a favorite of many stars who have graced its stage over the decades in both classics and new plays, including Colleen Dewhurst, Lillian Gish, George C. Scott, Julie Christie, Al Pacino, James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave, Kevin Kline, Joanne Woodward, Rex Harrison, John Malkovich, Nathan Lane, Philip Seymour Hoffman and many others.  The 2009 critically acclaimed and Tony Award®-winning revival of The Norman Conquests, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, also played at the theatre. 

THE RIVER is designed by Ultz, with lighting by Charles Balfour, sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph and music by Stephen Warbeck.


Hugh Jackman is an Academy Award®-nominated, Golden Globe and Tony Award®-winning actor.  The Australian native was most recently on Broadway in his one-man show Hugh Jackman – Back on Broadway in the fall of 2011. Jackman’s dedication to the Broadway community was feted at the 2012 Tony Awards®, where he received a Special Award from the Tony Awards® Administration Committee, recognizing his accomplishments as a performer and humanitarian.  He previously starred on Broadway in Keith Huff’s play, A Steady Rain, opposite Daniel Craig, and as 1970s singer-songwriter Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz, for which he received the 2004 Tony Award® for Best Actor in a musical as well as Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards.  Additional theater: Carousel at Carnegie Hall, Oklahoma! at the National Theater in London (Olivier nomination), Sunset Boulevard (MO Award, Australia’s Tony Award) and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (MO Award nomination). Jackman made his first major U.S. film appearance as Wolverine in the first installment of the “X-Men” series, a role he reprised in the enormously successful X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006, as well as X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009 and in The Wolverine in 2013.  Jackman reunited with the X-men team for X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is set for release this month.  Other recent film roles: Warner Brothers’ Prisoners, Jean Valjean in the film adaptation of Les Miserables, for which he earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical, and an Academy Award® nomination.  Additionally, Jackman has starred in Shawn Levy’s Real Steel, Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, and Woody Allen’s Scoop. He lent his voice to the animated features Rise of the Guardians, Happy Feet and Flushed Away.  Other films in which he has had leading roles include DeceptionSomeone Like You, SwordfishVan Helsing, and Kate and Leopold, for which he received a 2002 Golden Globe nomination.  On February 22, 2009, Jackman hosted the 81st Annual Academy Awards. This wasn’t Jackman’s first foray into awards show hosting. He previously served as host of the Tony Awards® three years in a row from 2003–2005, earning an Emmy Award for his 2004 duties at the 58th Annual ceremony, and an Emmy nomination for his 2005 appearance at the 59th Annual ceremony.  This year on Sunday, June 8, Jackman will once again serve as host for the 68th Annual Tony Awards®, live from Radio City Music Hall on CBS.


Laura Donnelly grew up in Belfast, Ireland before moving to Glasgow to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.  Since graduating from Royal Scottish in 2004, she has worked extensively in film, television and theatre. Theatre includes: Woman in The River (Royal Court), Katie Doogan in Philadelphia, Here I Come! (Donmar), Anna in Judgment Day (Almeida), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Chrissie in Dancing at Lughnasa (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Catherine in Boston Marriage (B*Spoke). Film credits include: Heart of Lightness, Hello Carter, Dread, Insatiable, Right Hand Drive.  Donnelly will also play Emma O’Reilly in the Untitled Cycling Project, a movie about Lance Armstrong to be directed by Stephen Frears later this year. TV Credits include: Sarah Kay in “The Fall” (BBC), Violet Heath in “Missing” (ABC), Freya (recurring) in “Merlin” (Kudos), Barbara Best in “Best” (BBC), Katy in “Occupation” (Kudos), Leanne O’Dwyer in “Be More Ethic” (BBC), Aoife in “Rough Diamond” (BBC/RTE), Maya in “Hex” (Shine), Fleur (semi-regular) in “Casualty” (BBC), Beth in “Sugar Rush” (Shine).  Laura is currently shooting the new Stephen Frears movie and the new Starz series, “Outlander”.  


Cush Jumbo received one of the top honors at this year’s Evening Standard Awards when she was presented with the “Emerging Talent Award” for her self-penned solo showJosephine and I.  She was also nominated for “Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre” at the Oliver Awards for her performance.  Josephine and I played at The Bush Theatre in July and August 2013, where it was well-received by critics and public alike.  She also reprised her role of Marc Antony in an all-female version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar at St. Ann’s Warehouse in New York.  The show, which originated at the Donmar Warehouse in London, earned rave reviews on both continents.  In a star-studded cast, she was singled out by the Olivier Awards as the sole acting nominee.   Both productions were directed by acclaimed film and theatre director Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!, The Iron Lady).  She also won the award for Best Actress at The Manchester Awards for her performance as Nora in A Doll’s House at the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester.  In 2012, she was awarded the prestigious Ian Charleson Award for her performance as Rosalind in As You Like It, also at the Royal Exchange.  This award honors the finest classical performance of the year by an actor under 30.  Television: series lead in the top-rated “Vera” for ITV1 opposite Brenda Blethyn; two series of the acclaimed comedy, “Getting On” (a US version of the show now airs on HBO).  Film: lead role in the feature Remainder (based on the Tom K. McCarthy novel of the same name) for director Omer Fast and the hit feature The Inbetweeners.


Jez Butterworth’s (Playwrightis the author of six plays; Mojo (1995), The Night Heron (2002), The Winterling (2006), Parlour Song (2008), Jerusalem (2009) and The River (2010).  In 2007, Butterworth received the E.M Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


Ian Rickson (Director) was Artistic Director at the Royal Court from 1998 to 2006, during which time he directed Krapp’s Last Tape, The Winterling, Alice Trilogy, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, Fallout, The Night Heron, Boy Gets Girl, Mouth to Mouth (also in the West End), Dublin Carol, The Weir (also in the West End and on Broadway), The Lights, Pale Horse and Mojo (also at the Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago), Ashes & Sand, Some Voices and Killers. His last production for the Royal Court, The Seagull, transferred to Broadway. Other theatre includes Mojo revival (West End), Old Times (West End), The River (Royal Court), Hamlet (Young Vic), Jerusalem (Royal Court, West End and Broadway), Betrayal (Comedy Theatre), The Children’s Hour (Comedy Theatre), The Hothouse and The Day I Stood Still (NT), Parlour Song (Almeida), Hedda Gabler (Roundabout Theatre, New York), The House of Yes (Gate) and Me & My Friend (Chichester Festival Theatre). Film includes: Fallout, Krapp’s Last Tape and The Clear Road Ahead.


Ultz (Scenic and Costume Designstudied Stage Design at Sadlers Wells Design Course (later Motley Design School), after training at Central School of Speech & Drama as an actor and a teacher of acting. His productions have since won many awards and nominations including an Olivier Award for Set Design and a Tony Award® nomination for Jerusalem, an off West End Theatre Award for Set Design for Beauty Queen of Leenane, an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for Pied Piper – A Hip Hop Dance Revolution, an Olivier award nomination for The Twin Rivals, a shortlist for the Evening Standard Award for Hobson’s Choice, Jerusalem and Fallout, and OpernWelt Critics Award Designer of the Year forXerxes. His early work includes Head of Design for Theatre Royal Stratford East: Designer at Birmingham Rep; Design Assistant on the first production of Edward Bond’s Lear at the Royal Court Theatre.  Recent Designs for Theatre include: a revival of Mojo in the West End, Kingston 14 at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Much Ado About Nothing at the Old Vic, Annie Get Your Gun (set only), The ChangelingA Respectable WeddingHobson’s ChoiceThe Beauty Queen of Leenane at the Young Vic, Blood and Gifts at the National Theatre, Choir BoyThe RiverChicken Soup with Barley, Fireface and all of Jez Butterworth’s plays including Mojo and Jerusalem at the Royal Court Theatre. Mojo also played in the West End and at Steppenwolf Theater, Chicago; Jerusalem transferred to the West End and to Broadway.  Recent Design for Opera includes: for Royal Opera House  Gloriana, Il Tabarro; for Glyndebourne Falstaff and Macbeth;  for English National Opera Powder Her Face, Cavelleria Rusticana / I Pagliacci and The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant; for Landestheater Niederbayern, Germany (directing and designing) Die Lustige Witwe, Idomeneo, White Horse Inn, Salome, The Magic Flute.  As an Associate Artist at Theatre Royal Stratford East, ULTZ is committed to creating new pieces of urban music theatre. He developed and directed DA BOYZ (a hip hop version of the Rodgers and Hart musical The Boys from Syracuse) and Jean Genet’s play The Blacks Remixed (co-directed). With Boy Blue Entertainment he developed Pied Piper and directed it at Stratford East, Barbican Theatre and UK Tour. He was part of the original creative team for The Harder They Come which he designed for Stratford East, Barbican Theatre, West End, UK Tour, Toronto and Miami.  ULTZ is a Visiting Fellow of the University of the Arts London. His teaching work includes: for the past 8 years, teaching Stage Design students from Rutgers University, New Jersey, during their Autumn semester at Shakespeare’s Globe; Stage Design at Nottingham Trent on numerous occasions; The Slade School of Fine Art; Central St Martin’s; Motley Design School; Acting Study at Rose Bruford College; Visiting Professor, lecturing and teaching acting studies, at University of California Davis.


Charles Balfour (Lighting Design) Theatre credits include: The River, Choir Boy, Chicken Soup with Barley, Now or Later, The Ugly One (Royal Court); Mojo (Harold Pinter) Posh (Duke of York’s); The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Girlfriend Experience (Young Vic); The Events (ATC/Young Vic); Jumpers for Goalposts (Paines Plough); The Accrington Pals (Manchester Royal Exchange);A Kind of Alaska/Krapp’s Last Tape (Bristol Old Vic); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Sheffield Crucible); My Generation (West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Kite Runner (Nottingham Playhouse); Morning (Lyric Hammersmith); The BorrowersOh What a Lovely War (Northern Stage); The Hypochondriac (ETT); No Wise Men, The Tempest (Liverpool Playhouse); Angels in America(Headlong); Through the Leaves (Duchess); Joseph K, Hair, Woyzeck (Gate). Opera and Dance includes: Carmen (Vlaamse Opera); Run for It (Scottish Ballet/Cultural Olympiad); Labyrinth of Love (Rambert Dance); over 30 works with the Richard Alston Dance Company (Sadler’s Wells); Magical Night, Cocteau Voices, The Red Balloon (Royal Opera House/Aletta Collins);Eden/Eden (Stuttgart Ballet, San Francisco Ballet/Wayne McGregor); OperaShots 1 and 2 (Royal Opera House); Carmen, Werther (Opera North); Woman in Memory (Tate Modern/Rosemary Butcher). Charles won the 2013 Knight of Illumination Award (Drama) for The River and the 2013 TMA UK Theatre Best Design Award for The Accrington Pals.


Ian Dickinson for Autograph (Sound Design) Previous NYC shows include Rock ’n’ Roll (Tony® nomination), The Seagull, Jerusalem (Tony® nomination), John Gabriel Borkman (Drama Desk nomination) and forthcoming, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, for which he won an Olivier Award.  Ian’s recent UK credits include All My Sons, To Kill A Mockingbird(Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); The Days The Nights The Wounds & The Night (Linbury ROH); The Nether (Royal Court); A Taste Of Honey, Emil and the Detectives, Port, This House and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time  (National Theatre); The Weir at the Gielgud; The Machine (Manchester International Festival & The Armory NYC); Roots (Donmar); Before the Party (Almeida). Ian has been with the Autograph design team since 2009.


Stephen Warbeck (ComposerTheatre includes: The River, Jerusalem (& West End/Broadway), Haunted Child, The Seagull, The Winterling, Alice Trilogy, Fallout, The Night Heron, Boy Gets Girl, Mouth to Mouth (& West End), Dublin Carol, The Glory of Living, The Lights, Harry & Me, Pale Horse, Rat in the Skull, Mojo, Simpatico, The Editing Process, The Kitchen, Blood, Greenland, Bloody Poetry, A Lie of the Mind, Built on Sand (Royal Court); Measure for Measure, Parlour Song, When The Rain Stops Falling, Cloud Nine, Dying For It (Almeida);  The Silver Tassie, This House, The Veil, Welcome to Thebes, Season’s Greetings, Mrs Affleck, The Villain’s Opera, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Hothouse, The Day I Stood Still, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Machinal, At Our Table, Roots, Magical Olympical Games (National); Mojo, Old Times, Death and the Maiden, Betrayal, The Children’s Hour (Harold Pinter); Hamlet, Bingo (Young Vic); A Flea in her Ear (Old Vic); Uncle Vanya, Swimming with Sharks (Vaudeville); In Celebration (Duke of York’s); Jean La Chance (Montpellier); The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Globe); Proof, To the Green Fields Beyond (Donmar); Wolf Hall, Bring up The Bodies (& West End), Alice in Wonderland, Romeo & Juliet, The Tempest, Cymbeline, The Cherry Orchard (RSC/Albery/UK tour); An Inspector Calls (National/West End/Broadway/Japan/ Australia/Vienna).  Dance includes: Peter Pan (Northern Ballet/Sadler’s Wells). Television includes: “Henry IV Parts 1 and 2” (from the BBC Series “The Hollow Crown”), “A Young Doctor’s Notebook,” “Just William, Skellig, “Fallout,” “Prime Suspect”. Film includes: La Marche, Keeping Rosy, Je Te Survivrai, It Happened in Saint Tropez, Jadoo, Polisse, He Who Said No, There Be Dragons, Un Balcon Sur La Mer, Day of the Flowers, Killing Bono, The Other Man, Princess Ka’Iulani, Freakdog, Machan, French Film, The Hessen Affair, The Box Collector, Goal II, Flawless, Miguel & William, Cargo, Feast of the Goat, Travaux, On a Clear Day, Mickybo & Me, Two Brothers, Oyster Farmer, Proof, De Zaak Alzheimer, Pour Le Plaisir, Love’s Brother, Blackball, Mystics, Charlotte Gray, Birthday Girl, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Gabriel & Me, Billy Elliott, Quills, Very Annie Mary, Mystery Men, Fanny & Elvis, Shakespeare in Love, Heart, Mrs Brown. Awards include: Academy Award® for Best Original Musical or Comedy Score (Shakespeare in Love), ASCAP Award for Best Film Music for Quills, BAFTA award for Original Television Music for “The Hollow Crown”. Stephen also writes for his band The Kippers and for his ensemble.

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