The Ferryman
Photograph: Courtesy Joan MarcusThe Ferryman

Five reasons you should see The Ferryman

This epic, explosive drama has been extended on Broadway until July. If you only see one play this year, here’s why you’ll want to make it this one

Written by Time Out for The Ferryman

If you’ve come across literally anyone who has already seen Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman, then we hardly need to explain to you why you need to book tickets ASAP. Rarely do plays receive the kind of unanimous, breathless praise from audiences and critics alike that The Ferryman has—and for good reason. Since opening on Broadway in October 2018 after a thrice-extended run on London’s West End, this astonishing thriller has stunned New Yorkers by the thousands. Its run has been extended until July 7—so with that in mind, we’ve put together five reasons why you won’t want to miss out on this inimitable experience.

1. It’s epic in ambition and scale

A cast of 21 people. A live goose. A live rabbit. A live baby. A fire. We guarantee you haven’t seen theatre on a scale quite like this. But it’s not just the size of the production or the detail in the set that is epic: it’s the story that is being told. The Ferryman is set in a farmhouse in Northern Ireland in 1981 and traces the lives of a family during the height of The Troubles. A gripping family drama unfolds, as the play shifts focus from its lead characters to other colorful family members, before returning to the devastating central plot. At times tragic, and in other moments warm-hearted and funny, this is a play that will completely transport you out of the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre and right into the center of a sprawling, shattering multigenerational drama. Binge-watching a TV show has got nothing on this.

2. It has an all-star creative team

Playwright Jez Butterworth co-wrote the screenplay for Spectre, the most recent James Bond film. Not only that, but The Ferryman is directed by Sam Mendes (yep, the same one who directed Spectre, Skyfall and American Beauty). It’s no surprise, really, that when it premiered in 2017 in London’s Royal Court Theatre, it became the theatre’s fastest-selling play ever.

3. Time Out (and everyone else) gave it rave reviews

Time Out New York’s Adam Feldman called The Ferrymanthe must-see new Broadway drama of the year”, writing that “the whole thrilling production seems alive, as few Broadway shows do, with the clutter and scope of reality”. It followed Andrzej Lukowski’s London review, in which he described it as “astonishing… Mendes choreographs everything to perfection”. What’s more, it’s on more top ten lists than any other show this year. Feeling the FOMO yet?

4. It's achieved a huge number of awards Internationally

OK, so awards aren’t everything—but when a show wins every best new play award in London, plus a prestigious Olivier Award for Best Director—that’s a pretty major sign that this is a play you won’t want to miss.

5. The ending is absolutely shocking

There’s a strong, ever-growing sense in The Ferryman that things are leading to an explosive, devastating climax—but nothing prepares you for it when it comes. Of course, we won’t give anything away; and besides, it has to be seen to be believed.

Tickets start at just $49—what are you waiting for? Book now at

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