The River

By Jez Butterworth

Synopsis:

“I may forget who you are. I may bring other women here, to this place, and I may tell them I love them, and make love to them. But they will be imposters. And I will be a ghost. Because it means I will have lost you.”

A haunting and mesmerising love story, The River is another compelling piece of theatre brought to us by Jez Butterworth - the playwright of Jerusalem.

A man is on a fishing trip and has invited the woman he loves to be with him in a cabin beside a river. But, like the ebb and flow of the water, and the flash and vanish of the elusive trout, the story twists and weaves and at the very moment we think we have grasped and understood the man and woman’s love affair, we find it’s all pulled from our grasp as one reality evaporates and another, even more seductive one, is put before us.

Jez Butterworth’s plays are infused with beautiful, poetic images. In The River, he has created a bewitching story in which the fisherman’s love affair with the secretive trout eluding him in the watery depths, is likened to the elusive and transitory nature of human love.

Nicky Wilkins (Troy in Jerusalem2012) is joined by Hayley Fitton-Cook (Di in Four Minutes Twelve Seconds 2016) and Hannah Smyth (Catharine in Suddenly Last Summer 2016) to bring this gripping in-the-round Bath premiere to The Mission Theatre. After each performance, the audience will be invited to join the cast for an informal discussion about the play.

“This intimate three-hander unfolds like a tantalising cross between a piece of deeply felt poetry and a sleight-of-hand puzzle.”
Paul Taylor, The Independent 2012

The River
This show was performed at The Mission Theatre, Bath in September 2016.

Director/s | Cast:

Ann Ellison

Ann Ellison

Director

Hayley Fitton-Cook

Hayley Fitton-Cook

The Other Woman

Hannah Smyth

Hannah Smyth

The Woman

Nicky Wilkins

Nicky Wilkins

The Man

Review/s of The River:

Review 1: "A glorious play which provokes and challenges (with) fine performances. Well worth watching"

This poetic and ethereal piece by Butterworth is a tangle of life, love and the natural world. The ebb and flow of the sunset, river and moon is the framework for a compelling play which snaps and turns as readily as the elusive sea trout at the centre of the story. Set in a rural location we find The Man (Nicky Wilkins) who waxes lyrical over fish and his girlfriend Woman 1 (Hannah Smyth) a strong,…click here to read the whole review.

By Petra Schofield

Review 2: "A tightly directed performance, well suited to an intimate setting in the round."

Jez Butterworth shot to theatrical fame with Jerusalem, a play about the charismatic West Country (Pewsey, actually) Rooster Byron, played by the equally charismatic Mark Rylance. The River somewhat mines a similar seam with another strong male in a bucolic setting, which in this instance is an isolated fishing hut overlooking a river. The sea trout are running and there’s a magnificent sunset as…click here to read the whole review.

By Philip Horton, Bath Chronicle

Show and rehearsal photographs: