From: Thursday, 13th May 2010
To: Saturday, 5 June 2010
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Two contrasting visions of America, imagined through the different characters of two brothers: Southern California. Austin, a Los Angeles screenwriter, is house-sitting for his mother while he puts the finishing touches to his current scriptwriting project. His hopes for peace and quiet disappear with the arrival of Lee, a small-time crook and drifter or as he would have it: 'desert survival expert'. When a Hollywood producer arrives to discuss Austin's project, Lee hijacks the meeting with a pitch for a Western based on his own, exaggerated life. The producer is browbeaten into offering Lee a big-bucks advance and Austin agrees to put his brother's vision into words. But their rivalry is too much for them and the tension rises into a dramatic finale. A devastatingly realistic power struggle from inside the mind of 'the bucking bronco of American theater'.
18 May 2010
In one sense, this review can only be provisional. Just like Mark Rylance and Michael Rudko at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 1994, Nigel Harman and John Light are alternating the parts of the brothers in Sam Shepard’s True West, so that the full run becomes an examination of their characters and relationship. Given that they are two brothers who are polar opposites on the surface, this opens up an exploration of the hidden common ground.
True West is a play of contrasts and contradictions. Is it a searingly realistic examination of the violent consequences of sibling rivalry or a hysterically free-wheeling riff on several kinds of crazy? It’s both, of course, though the realism only extends to the forms, manners and tensions of contemporary life, not to details of plotting or motivation.
The brothers are Austin, a successful Hollywood scriptwriter, and Lee, a loser and small time thief. Lee has unexpectedly appeared at their mother...
Latest User Review
Christine - 11 June 2010:
I would have loved to have seen the actors swap roles. Nigel played Lee and I found him quite intimidating. Powerful performances by both actors. Excellent. ...