True West by Sam Shepard

October 12 - 22 (2016)

Venue: Mechanics Institute - 270 Sydney Rd, Brunswick.

True West is a phenomenal piece of American text written by Sam Shepard who is arguably one of the best playwrights of our time. True West follows the relationship of estranged brothers Austin (Charlie Mycroft) and Lee (Michael Argus) as they descend into a competitive struggle, fueled by the desire to dominate one another. Austin, a screenwriter, is charged with house sitting for Mom (Suzanne Heywood) whilst she is away in Alaska. His brother Lee, a wanderer who steals and extorts his way through existence, shows up unannounced after a 5-year hiatus. When Lee threatens Austin’s big break by striking up a deal with producer Saul (Des Fleming), the brothers spiral out of control as they lose their grip on what defines them.

The team was headed up by director Alice Darling (2014 graduate directors program, Red Stitch) and she surrounded herself with a very exciting design team including set and costume designer Jacob Battista (MTC, Opera Australia, The Production Company), Green Room Award nominated lighting designer, Clare Springett (Red Stitch) and new comers Justin Gardam and Marlon Grunden on sound design and composition respectively. 

Sam Shepard is a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright producing works of the highest calibre. He is widely regarded as a contemporary American master. True West was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 and is considered by many to be the third installment of a family trilogy including 'Curse Of The Starving Class' and 'Buried Child'. The play explores the intricacy of family dynamics with particular focus on two estranged brothers (Lee and Austin) and the duality of character that exists in them both. True West has all the hallmarks of a Shepard play including his poeticism, black humour and surrealist elements.

The Team:

Matchstick Theatre's production of True West received funding from Creative Partners Australia through The Australian Cultural Fund and was a recipient of the Ballarat Arts Foundation funding grant.