As the audience gathers in the auditorium a solitary man, dressed in black, stands on stage against a backdrop of IRA graffiti.
And so, the story of The Ferryman, a new play written by Jez Butterworth and directed by Sam Mendes begins.
The farmhouse kitchen of Quinn Carney, at the time of the annual Harvest, is the main setting of this family drama, which takes place during the time of the troubles in Northern Ireland.
As the saga begins we are told that the body of Seamus Carney, Quinn’s brother, who has been missing for ten years has been found. As the story unfolds we learn that Quinn carney has a dark past he has tried to put behind him.
The Ferryman has been hailed as the best new play of 2017 and in my opinion lives up to the hype. Despite being dark and menacing at times, this play is also emotional, and has some laugh out loud moments before leading the audience towards an unexpected dramatic conclusion.
There are strong performances from this large cast of 21 actors which includes children, a baby, a rabbit and a goose.
(The goose was real and not because of the gin and tonic consumed during the interval!)
With a running time of 3 hours and 10 minutes (including a 15-minute interval) this is longer than most productions currently in the west end. This is worth bearing in mind if planning to go for a drink after the show,
The Ferryman is at the Gielgud theatre and tickets are available to book until May 2018.
Theatretastic rating 4/5: