Four men and a duck make up AsaNisiMasa’s
Going Out West is an extremely strange and energetic performance that manages to be both hilarious and moving.
The floor of the Mash House’s Cask Room is strewn with dead leaves and Pokémon cards and chewing gum, just one aspect of the exact chaos that makes up this performance. Onto this floor tumble Sharp, Grant, Farnese and Hearn, firing imaginary guns. Beginning as children, they use human sound effects, expert choreography and a rough physicality to create scenes of play: boys being boys. Gradually, as the show progresses, the boys become men through stops and starts and diversions into dark flights of fancy.
All the while, it never loses the sense of playfulness with which it opens. We’ve seen men who won’t grow up in hundreds of American slacker comedies, but in the face of those, this examination of maleness is a breath of fresh air. Going Out West shows characters willing to take responsibility and trying do the right thing, all the while demonstrating the interplay between fragility and boisterousness. A little flame of childhood is still burning in the adult men we see eventually chucking beers at each other.
Covering the future, romance, bosses and fathers and ninja turtles, the dialogue is engaging and witty. The performances are strong throughout and are very much collaborative, although individual personalities shine through the ensemble. A dark moment between Sharp and Farnese is particularly haunting. Going Out West is an extremely strange and energetic performance that manages to be both hilarious and moving.