These Green and Pleasant Lands: Travellers, Gypsies and the Lament for England in Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem
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In this chapter, Holdsworth looks at how Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem (2009) responded to a climate of political debate, media rhetoric and cultural representations that reflected a growing fascination and unease with the presence of Gypsy and Traveller communities at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Focusing on the original Royal Court production, it explores how Butterworth created the complex ‘heroic’ figure of Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron to reveal the contradictions evident in simplistic distinctions between the civilised ‘good’ society of traditional ‘settled’ communities and the amoral ‘unsettled’ life epitomised by Byron. In turn, it comments on the reasons why critics and audiences embraced Jerusalem as a state-of-the-nation piece that offered insightful reflection on England, national identity and belonging.
KeywordsGypsies and Travellers Jerusalem England Nation Belonging
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