True West

AAR-HST-True-WestInspired by John C. Reilly and Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s historical Broadway run, Human Sacrifice Theatre (HST) remount their debut production of Sam Shepard’s dark comedy, True West, at fortyfivedownstairs this April.

Directed by Lee Mason (The Dreamer Examines His Pillow, MOJO, The Late Henry Moss, Glengarry Glen Ross) and in an Australian first, HST actors Mark Diaco (Burn This, The Late Henry Moss, Glengarry Glen Ross) and Justin Hosking (Uncle Vanya, The Realistic Joneses, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea) bring new life to this iconic work by alternating the lead roles of Austin and Lee throughout their three week season.

True West explores the tumultuous relationship between two estranged brothers, Lee and Austin, as they navigate their conflicting identities and desires in the California desert.

Austin, an Ivy-league educated writer who is finishing off a screenplay that is sure to be a hit, is house-sitting his mother’s quiet Los Angeles suburban home.

That is, until his estranged, lawless, drinking brother Lee, who has been living aimlessly on the desert, drops in. Having not seen each other for five years, the two complete opposites navigate the inextricable tension that permeates between them.

The sons of a desert-dwelling alcoholic father clash violently over a film script and the notion of what the West means. A brutal stand-off ensues. Perhaps they are not as different as they seem.

The Pulitzer Prize winning playwright brilliantly explores the male psyche through sibling rivalry, with powerful language and nuanced characters that make for a gripping and thought-provoking experience that has captivated audiences for decades.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing True West back to the stage after 16 years,” says Diaco.

“Sam Shepard’s writing is timeless, and this production honours his legacy while also giving audiences a new and exciting experience,” adds Hosking.

HST’s production boasts an exceptional cast and crew, who bring their own unique perspectives and skills to the stage. Director Lee Mason, has worked closely with the whole team to create a dynamic and engaging piece of theatre that stays true to Shepard’s original intent while also incorporating fresh ideas and bold interpretations.

“This impressive undertaking asks the actors to not only switch seamlessly between the two roles each night, but demands a careful and meticulous exploration of the light and dark side of masculinity, in all its complexity,” said Mason.

“The  audience is offered the great opportunity to return and view two different versions of this modern masterpiece,  and we can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

Human Sacrifice Theatre has a history of producing exceptional, high quality American drama. Don’t miss your chance to experience this ground-breaking play brought to life by a talented and passionate team. True West promises an unforgettable night of theatre that will challenge and inspire you.

“I wish every American play we staged here was performed with this level of assurance and flair.” – The Age (The Long Red Road)

Director: Lee Mason | Featuring: Mark Diaco, Justin Hosking, Fiona Stewart, Kevin Summers | Set and Costume Designer: Peter Mumford | Lighting Designer: Kris Chainey | Sound Designer: Dmitri Golovko | Stage Manager: Teri Steer | Co-Producer: Sophie Muckart

True West
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 21 April – 7 May 2023 (previews: 19 & 20 April)
Information and Bookings:

Image: True West (supplied)