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The Hills of California : NHB Modern Plays - Jez Butterworth

The Hills of California

By: Jez Butterworth

Paperback | 15 February 2024

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'This house. It's called "Sea View". It's just I've looked out of every window, and you can't. You can't see the sea.'

Blackpool, 1976. The driest summer in two hundred years. The beaches are packed. The hotels are heaving. In the sweltering backstreets, far from the choc ices and donkey rides, the Webb Sisters are returning to their mother's run-down guest house, as she lies dying upstairs.

Jez Butterworth's play The Hills of California was first performed at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London's West End in 2024, directed by Sam Mendes, and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and Neal Street.

'Magnificent, moving and quietly furious... a rich, funny, brilliantly layered drama about lost dreams, trampled hopes, parenting and letting go' — Financial Times

'A remarkable play... unfurls with the richness and depth of a well-crafted novel... Butterworth remains a one-off, a man who can write plays about ordinary people that carry the charge of the great tragedies' — Time Out

'A strange and enthralling family saga, packed with warmth, hurt and rich texture... on a par with Butterworth's Jerusalem and The Ferryman - a trio of flawed masterpieces' — Evening Standard

'Exquisite... Devastatingly moving, bitterly funny, tender, cruel and wise' — The Stage

'Rich, vivid and compelling... the West End is infinitely the richer for its presence' — iNews

'Beautifully well-written... Filled with believable, colourful characters... expertly engineered... a rich text, full of nuance and glorious dialogue' — Express

'Intelligent, witty and studded with good lines, fine performances, resonances, echoes and a lingering sense of loss' — Sunday Times

Industry Reviews

'Magnificent, moving and quietly furious... a rich, funny, brilliantly layered drama about lost dreams, trampled hopes, parenting and letting go'

* Financial Times *

'A remarkable play... unfurls with the richness and depth of a well-crafted novel... Butterworth remains a one-off, a man who can write plays about ordinary people that carry the charge of the great tragedies'

* Time Out *

'A strange and enthralling family saga, packed with warmth, hurt and rich texture... on a par with Butterworth's Jerusalem and The Ferryman - a trio of flawed masterpieces'

* Evening Standard *

'Exquisite... Devastatingly moving, bitterly funny, tender, cruel and wise'

* The Stage *

'Rich, vivid and compelling... the West End is infinitely the richer for its presence'

* iNews *

'Beautifully well-written... Filled with believable, colourful characters... expertly engineered... a rich text, full of nuance and glorious dialogue'

* Express *

'Intelligent, witty and studded with good lines, fine performances, resonances, echoes and a lingering sense of loss'

* Sunday Times *

'Epic and ambitious... The writing is closely observed, humorous, but with ripples of anger beneath the surface'

* WhatsOnStage *

'Bittersweet and bitingly funny... Butterworth's poetic verbosity is in full evidence, along with savage humour, painful pathos and simmering rage... thought-provoking, heartbreaking and multi-layered'

* Broadway World *

'It's smart, ambitious fare, and the dialogue displays Butterworth's usual elan'

* Telegraph *

'Perfect... mournfully entertaining, dramatically intense... a majestic evening, often funny but full and satisfying'

* TheatreCat *

'A masterclass... a play that taps right into the heart of the grieving process and gives you raw, unabashed truths about how families treat one another'

* Radio Times *

'A new masterpiece'

* London Theatre *

'Astute and compelling... an imperfect masterpiece... Butterworth reminds us of his singular ability to take us deep inside a seemingly mundane microcosm, and make shatteringly astute observations about family dynamics, unreliable memories, sexual politics and then some... undoubtedly one of the most brilliant works you'll see on stage this year'

* Culture Whisper *

'A major event in theatre... Butterworth's dialogue merges the lyrical and the earthy, threaded together by strong, dark humour'

* Reviews Hub *

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