[NoHo Arts District, CA] – The poignant love story, “West,” written by award-winning Welsh playwright Owen Thomas, makes its West Coast premiere at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival after a celebrated UK tour.
“WEST” lyrically tells the hauntingly beautiful story of a couple who fall in love and decide to leave Wales in order to build a new life in the New World.
From the team that brought you the 2012 Hollywood Fringe Best International Show “Richard Parker,” “WEST” arrives at the Hollywood Fringe straight from its celebrated UK tour. This West Coast premiere by award-winning Welsh playwright Owen Thomas stars acclaimed Welsh actors Gareth John Bale and Gwenllian Higginson. The play is set during the 19th Century when countless people left their homeland of Wales to seek their fortune in the United States. Many wanted adventure, the chance to own their own land or simple the chance to start again. Along the way, these emigrants faced many dangers and tribulations. Some succeeded, some gave up and some fell by the wayside. Those who made it went on to establish roots and bloodlines that grow and flow through the United States to this very day.
About the Production Team
Written by Owen Thomas
Directed by Gareth John Bale
Starring Gareth John Bale and Gwenllian Higginson.;
Produced by Fringe Management, LLC;
Co-Producer: Samantha de Gyarfas.
OWEN THOMAS (Playwright) is an award-winning Playwright whose previous plays include
“The Wood” and “Grav” for the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven, where he is also proud to be an Associate Artist. “Grav,” has toured widely, enjoying successful runs in London, Washington, New York, Edinburgh, and a special showing for the Welsh National Rugby team prior to their Six Nations game against England in February 2019. His breakthrough play “Richard Parker” was critically acclaimed at the Edinburgh Festival, going on to win ‘Best International Show’ at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, Los Angeles in 2012. In 2019, “West,” his first American commission, premiered in Milwaukee, to a standing ovation. “West” toured Wales in spring 2020, including performances in London and New York. ‘An Orange in the Subway’, a play about homelessness, was performed at the Vaults Festival in London in 2020 and was nominated Best Show. Owen’s first screenplay was for the film version of “Grav” for S4C. Directed by Marc Evans (Director: “The Pembrokeshire Murders” – ITV1) the film was screened nationally on September 12, 2021 and was a ratings and critical success. Owen’s latest play, “Carwyn,” about the life of Welsh rugby coach Carwyn James was produced by the Torch Theatre in Spring 2022 before touring extensively across Wales to wide critical acclaim.
GARETH BALE (Man, Director) is from Ynysmeudwy. He trained at the Royal Welsh College
of Music and Drama. His theatre credits include: “West” (Bale and Thomas & Fringe
Management) Aneurin Bevan in “Nye and Jennie” (Theatr Na N’og), Ray Gravell in “Grav” (Torch Theatre, Wales Tour & Edinburgh Fringe 2015), “Cinderella,” “Miss Julie” (RCT Theatres), Hamlet in “Hamlet” (Wales Theatre Company), “Richard Parker” (3D Theatre Company, Fringe Management/Darkman Productions, UK Tour & Edinburgh and Hollywood Fringe Festival), Macbeth in “Macbeth” (Broadway Theatre, Catford, London), “One Man Two Guvnors,” “Bouncers,” “The 39 Steps,” “Boeing Boeing,” “Neville’s Island,” Oedipus in “Oedipus” (All for Black Rat Productions). His TV credits include: “35 Awr” (Boom Cymru & S4C), “CASUALTY,” “REQUIEM,” “THE INDIAN DOCTOR” and “HIGH HOPES” (BBC), “Pobol Y Cwm,” “Y Pris” (S4C). His film credits include “Grav” (S4c), “Apostle” (XYZ Films), “Calon Gaeth / Small Country” (Green Bay Media).
GWENLLIAN HIGGINSON (Woman) trained at Rose Bruford. Her TV credits include
Enid A Lucy, Pobol Y Cwm (S4C) and Casualty (BBC) as well as a lead role in the popular series “35 Diwrnod” (S4C). Gwenllian’s recent theatre credits include “Gwlad Yr Asyn “(Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru) “WEST” (Bale and Thomas) “Shooting Rabbits” (Powder House/Sherman Cymru) “Merched Caerdydd,” “Macbeth” (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru) the lead role of Julie in “Miss Julie” (RCT Theatres) “Exodus” (Motherlode Theatre, Wales Tour & Finborough Theatre) “The Good Earth” (Motherlode, Wales Tour & a run at the Flea Theatre, New York) and “Constellation Street” (The Other Room). Gwenllian is also an experienced bilingual voiceover artist with credits ranging from plays on BBC Radio 4 and Radio Cymru to working as a continuity announcer for ITV Encore.
FRINGE MANAGEMENT, LLC (Producer) has produced over 100 plays around the world,
including over 80 shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (winning them the coveted Spirit of the Fringe Award), including the Fringe First winner “runt,” (Sony Radio Academy Award for BBC World Service production); “This is So Not About the Simpsons” (starring Harry Shearer of “This is Spinal Tap” and “The Simpsons”) and several productions featuring the international comedy sensation The Pajama Men (Perrier Best Newcomer Nominee, Times Dubble Act award, Melbourne and Sydney Comedy Festival Winners, Soho Theatre London Box Office record). Its other producing credits include “Latina Christmas Special” and “Bard Overboard”
Off-Broadway, the Hollywood Fringe Festival productions of “Richard Parker” (Best
International Production), “Bumpersticker” (Best Musical Nominee) and “Pick of the Fringe”
(two-time Best Cabaret nominee) as well as “Bukowsical” (Best Musical) at the New York
International Fringe Festival.
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