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"One of the best productions of the year... a magnetically eerie,
luminously beautiful psychodrama.” —Time Out (London)
"The River is subtle, sleek and dark. Here is a sense of the mysterious and of kinship with others long gone. It is perhaps about time and eternity, about that spot on the river that, while always the same, is always changing. A wonderful play, glinting and elusive as a fish." -Sarah Hemming, Financial Times
A remote fishing cabin, a man and a woman, and a moonless night - The River asks; when we find each other, are we trying to recapture someone we once lost? Tony Award winner Hugh Jackman starred in the hit Broadway production of The River in 2014 after its successful run in London.
Jez Butterworth is also the author Mojo, The Night Heron, The Winterling, Parlour Song and Jerusalem. His plays have premiered in London at the Royal Court Theatre and the Almeida Theatre and in New York City at the Atlantic Theatre and on Broadway. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Somerset, England.
WOMAN. I’ll move it back. THE MAN. What? Don’t. THE WOMAN. It’s the work of a moment. Here. (Picks it up.) Oww. THE MAN. What’s wrong? Are you okay. THE WOMAN. I’m fine. THE MAN. Show me. THE WOMAN. It’s just a splinter. THE MAN. Let me look at it. THE WOMAN. Ow. THE MAN. Let me see. THE WOMAN. It’s a splinter. THE MAN. Show me it. THE WOMAN. I said I’m fine. THE MAN. It’s bleeding. Come here. Let me see. (Takes her hand.) That’s deep. He takes out a
going to send a fucking helicopter. I was shouting and shouting. Up and down for two hours. THE OTHER WOMAN. I got bored. THE MAN. What? THE OTHER WOMAN. I was just standing there in the dark. It was boring. I went for a walk. THE MAN. Where? THE OTHER WOMAN. Up the river. THE MAN. And you didn’t tell me. THE OTHER WOMAN. I couldn’t find you. THE MAN. You fucking idiot. THE OTHER WOMAN laughs. He goes to hug her. I’m sorry. I was so worried. THE OTHER WOMAN. I’m
that’s when I instantly need to pee. It’s ruined some great moments. THE MAN. That’s not fishing. That’s poaching. A Monster Munch? That’s fucking poaching. THE OTHER WOMAN. They went mad for them. Danny caught loads. THE MAN. He’s not even supposed to be fishing there. THE OTHER WOMAN. He mentioned that. THE MAN. That’s my uncle’s water. That whole stretch for two miles. No one else can fish it. Not without permission. And certainly not with a pickled-onion fucking Monster Munch.
into the black and you count and you pray and you don’t know what you’re doing and suddenly… suddenly it answers. It’s just so… suddenly… fucking… real. THE MAN. Incredible. THE WOMAN. Absolutely totally… (Beat.) Yeah. (Pause.) Look. I have a horrible confession to make. THE MAN. What? THE WOMAN. I’ve done it before. He stops. THE MAN. What? (Beat.) When? THE WOMAN. Before. THE MAN. When? THE WOMAN. I’m sorry. THE MAN. Who with? THE WOMAN. My dad. THE MAN.
doing and come here now. THE MAN. What? THE WOMAN. Now. Right now. Come over here. THE MAN. Oh. I’ve seen it. Beat. THE WOMAN. What? THE MAN. I’ve seen it before. THE WOMAN. It’s never happened before. THE MAN. Yes it has. THE WOMAN. No it hasn’t. Not like this. THE MAN. Just like that. They’re all the same. THE WOMAN. No two sunsets are the same. THE MAN. Have you seen my priest? THE WOMAN. Describe it. THE MAN. It’s a small piece of ram’s horn with a