Last year, Phil Nichol was awarded a Best Actor award for his performance in Edward Albees Zoo Story. This year he returns to show off his acting chops while accompanied by newcomer Tom Stade in Sam Shepards True West.
Austin and Lee are brothers who are nothing alike. Austin is a meek, ivy-league educated up-and-coming screenwriter while Lee is a vagabond with an explosive temper. After years of living separate lives, they find themselves together and alone in the home of their mother while she is away.
This production of True West is a prime example of just how interchangeable love and hate can be. Phil Nichol certainly lives up to his reputation as a fringe Best Actor and Tom Stade has no trouble keeping up. Their performances are powerful, and the comedic bits are perfectly delivered. There are a small handful of jokes that dont quite translate to the UK audiences, but this in no way lessens the impact of the overall production. If anything, you should catch True West for the all-too-brief but highly amusing performances by Dave Johns as Saul Kimmer, the Hollywood producer and Valda Aviks as Austin and Lees mother.