"An ever-intriguing writer."
"A genuine talent."



The Spirit Of Old John Barleycorn

Do you believe in giants?
Jez Butterworth surely does.
Cornish giants in particular. The likes of
Cormoran and Blunderbore, and lovelorn Bolster -
who once stained the sea waters red with his blood.
I've fond memories of Mister Butterworth,
for it was he who taught me how to roll the perfect
Peking duck pancake with hoisin sauce. But that was many years ago.
Jez is older now. And wiser. And time has tickled his beard with frost.
One of five siblings, he grew up in suburban St. Albans.
These days however, Jez lives in rural Somerset and raises pigs.
And good luck to him I say. May Queen Mab bless him always.
The West Country soil has helped him to relocate his muse,
whilst mine remains stubbornly mired
in the deepest dankest pile of hogshite.
Set in the fictional Wiltshire village of Flintock,
Jez’s new play ‘Jerusalem’ features a masterful
and mercurial lead performance by Mark Rylance.
An actor with all the poise and fury of a Raging Ballerina.
An actor who rolls his own cigarettes and drinks 8 raw eggs a week.
Based on a real-life “local” character called Mickey Doo,
Rylance is the living, breathing, belching embodiment
of an angry, disenfranchised and gelded olde England.
For amongst all the talk of of bric-a-brac and tombolas,
and floats and fetes and whirley-swirlers, the play reaches out
to the ancient lay-lines that criss-cross our faded realm
and seeks to summon up the totem spirits of Jack-O-The-Green
and poor John Barleycorn - the Christ-like lord of the hops.
The play resonates. It hums. It dances upon telluric currents.
It reminds me of blowjob I was once given
in a crop circle near Alton Barnes in 1992.
They ploughed, they sowed, they harrowed him in.
They throwed clods of dirt upon his head.
But Johnny Rooster Byron shall rise again.
Just like the Harvest. Just like the holy Nazarene.
Here’s to the revels. Here’s to the ruckus. Here’s to the
fracas almighty and the sweet blessed Merrie-oh.
We leave the theatre with the scent of gasoline still in our hair.
And with the Wyvern dragon flying proud upon gold-tipped wings.

Royal Court trailer for 'Jerusalem'