Originally debuting on the London stage in 2012, The River features Jackman along with two proficient and skilled actors from the London cast in this 90-minute production. Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo, give stunning performances exhibiting prowess for comedic and dramatic execution.
Butterworth, nominated for a Tony in 2011 for Jerusalem is successful in creating a three-character, somber story, powerfully captivating, drawing the viewer into the emotional depths of each person. He is adept at intertwining time and space to exhibit a relational pattern on the part of the Jackman character, who is psychologically tortured and stuck.
Director, Ian Rickman's use of dim lighting and stage direction add further to the poignant melancholy that engulfs these characters.
In spite of the dynamic and haunting performances, and Jackman's ability to reflect a stoic and concealed sadness, the storyline leaves the viewer with a kind of vacuous uncertainty. However, this too is rather brilliant as the reason for the fisherman's profound anguish becomes discernible long after the play is over.
Waiting at the stage door for the cast's exit, audience members looked rather unsettled attempting to make sense out of the previous 90-minutes. There was an overwhelming sense that The River did not tie up the ending with a neat bow, but instead, left a cloud of ambiguity and confusion. All agreed, however, that it was riveting and worth seeing. The River is a limited engagement, with its final performance February 8th.
Circle in the Square
50th Street West of Broadway
New York, NY
FINAL PERFORMANCE FEBRUARY 8TH