Four full-length plays and two previously unpublished shorts from the multi-award-winning author of Jerusalem.
Jez Butterworth burst onto the theatre scene aged twenty-five with Mojo, ‘one of the most dazzling Royal Court main stage debuts in years’ (Time Out). This first volume of his Collected Plays contains that play plus the three that followed, as well as two short one-person pieces published here for the first time – everything in fact that precedes Jerusalem, ‘unarguably one of the best dramas of the twenty-first century’ (Guardian).
Plays One includes:
Mojo, staged in 1995 but set in the Soho clubland of 1958, ‘superbly captures the atmosphere of the infant British rock and roll scene where seedy low-lifers hustle for the big time’ (Daily Telegraph). It is ‘Beckett on speed’ (Observer) by a ‘dramatist of obvious talent and terrific promise’ (The Times).
The Night Heron (2002) is set in the Cambridgeshire Fens amongst assorted oddballs, birdwatchers and the local constabulary. ‘It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s haunting and it also strangely beautiful. Above all, it is quite unlike anything you’ve ever seen before’ (Daily Telegraph).
In The Winterling (2006) a gangland fugitive is visited by two associates from the city who have other things on their mind than a jolly reunion. ‘The dialogue is testosterone taut, a sense of menace invades every conversation… and as tales of torture and treachery unfold, the black comedy never misses’ (Time Out).
Leavings (previously unpublished), a short monologue about an old man whose dog has gone missing.
The housing estate in Parlour Song (2008) is ‘a place of illicit desire and painful memories, of bad dreams and mysterious disappearances… a play that combines the comic, the erotic and the downright disconcerting with superb panache’ (Daily Telegraph).
The Naked Eye (previously unpublished), a short monologue about a family preparing to watch Halley’s Comet as it passes through the night sky.
Introducing the plays is an interview with Jez Butterworth specially conducted for this volume.