Matthew Dunster’s production of Sam Shepard’s True West, starring Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) and Johnny Flynn (Hangmen) opens to mixed reviews at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End.
Hailed as Shepard’s masterwork, this contemporary American drama is set in the searing heat of the Californian desert and pits brother against brother as a family tears itself apart, exposing the cracks in the American Dream.
Harington and Flynn both give convincing performances but although as brothers they are possibly mismatched.
The cast also includes Donald Sage Mackay as Saul Kimmer and Madeleine Potter as Mom.
True West is running until 23 February 2019 at the Vaudeville Theatre, London.
Read a round-up of reviews below.
The Guardian ★★★
‘Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn are good, if slightly mismatched, as the brothers in Sam Shepard’s haunting play.’
‘Enjoyable as Matthew Dunster’s revival is, I felt the play works best in small theatres and that the central pairing doesn’t achieve a perfect balance.’
‘Even if the central casting leaves something to be desired, it remains a pungent Shepard’s pie.’
Michael Billington, The Guardian
The Evening Standard ★★★★
‘Playing against type, Harington brings a neurotic intensity to neat and finicky screenwriter Austin.’
‘The play itself can feel like a series of bizarre riffs, but is packed with similarly outrageous moments.’
Henry Hitchings, The Evening Standard
Time Out London ★★★
‘Even as they’re trashing the room, smashing objects and downing whiskey, the whole thing has the feel of an undergrad party where everyone’s pretending to ‘GO KERRRRAAAZZZY!!!’ in the most controlled way possible. And that’s never a story to remember.’
Rosemary Waugh, Time Out London
The Telegraph ★★★
‘Kit Harington proves his mettle in Sam Shepard’s bleak battle of wills’
‘The late Sam Shepard’s True West is a remarkably delicate flower. Set it down in the wrong place, fail to moisten it with sufficient droplets of subtle directorial care, and a dark comedy of wild pungency can wilt into something oddly odourless.’
The Telegraph (Dominic Cavendish)
The Independent ★★★
Kit Harington does fine work in engaging dose of visceral elation
It’s Johnny Flynn whose comic perfection elevates this production of Sam Shephard’s wonderfully warped play
Paul Taylor, The Independent
The Stage ★★★★
‘a wickedly funny revival’
This comes through in the performances of Game Of Thrones’ Kit Harington and singer-songwriter-actor Johnny Flynn. They’re both giving the finest stage performances of their careers to date, but you get the sense that they’re both having enormous fun too.
Fergus Morgan, The Stage
Average rating score for this production:
Date: 19 December 2018
Written by: Simon Raven
Tags: Johnny Flynn, Kit Harington, Sam Shepard, True West, Vaudeville Theatre