Award-winning play The Ferryman opens new season at Hitchin's Queen Mother Theatre

The Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin presents The Ferryman.

You can seen The Ferryman at The Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin. - Credit: Queen Mother Theatre / The Bancroft Players

The Queen Mother Theatre (QMT) in Hitchin opens its new season with a multi-award-winning play by an acclaimed playwright.

The Bancroft Players presents The Ferryman, written by Jez Butterworth, in the QMT, Woodside, off Walsworth Road.

David Lester directs a multi-generational cast of 26 Bancroft Players from Monday, September 26 to Saturday, October 1 at 7.30pm. 

The Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin presents The Ferryman.

You can seen The Ferryman at The Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin. - Credit: Queen Mother Theatre / The Bancroft Players

A shattering feast of intricate storytelling, The Ferryman is set in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, in 1981, with 'The Troubles' in full swing.

The play takes place during the Carney farmhouse's annual harvest celebration and feast.

A day of hard work on the land and a traditional night of feasting and celebrations lie ahead.

But this year the festivities are halted by the arrival of an unexpected visitor and revelations from the past. 

The Bancroft Players in rehearsals for The Ferryman.

The Bancroft Players in rehearsals for The Ferryman. - Credit: Queen Mother Theatre / The Bancroft Players

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At a time when 10 prisoners died in the Maze prison after a hunger strike, it's a play about a family torn between its unequivocal commitment to the cause of a united Ireland and its awareness of the brutal means often deployed to achieve that end.

Jez Butterworth grew up in St Albans and his play Jerusalem, another award winner, recently enjoyed a major revival in the West End with Mark Rylance as 'Rooster' Byron.

Butterworth's plays have been winners at The QMT after the successes of Jerusalem, Parlour Song, The River and MOJO.

The Bancroft Players in rehearsals for The Ferryman.

The Bancroft Players in rehearsals for The Ferryman. - Credit: Queen MQueen Mother Theatre / The Bancroft Playersother Theatre

The Ferryman confronts the big issue of who we really are as individuals and nations.

The show contains strong adult language some audiences may find offensive.

According to the director, David Lester: “Jez Butterworth injects The Ferryman with his characteristic humour while weaving an intricate story around a family with rich themes of national identity and the nature of self-denial.”

Rehearsals for The Ferryman.

Rehearsals for The Ferryman. - Credit: Queen Mother Theatre / The Bancroft Players

Artistic director Rory Reynolds said: “In one of our largest casts assembled in recent years, uniquely, roles have been taken by The Juniors Group, The Big Spirit Youth Group, and adults from the Bancroft Players.

"Our youngest cast member is aged nine.” 

Tickets for The Ferryman are available online from the QMT's website at www.queenmothertheatre.org.uk