”West”

A NoHo Arts theatre review of ”West” written by Owen Thomas, directed by Gareth John Bale, and co-produced by Samantha de Gyarfas at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.
A NoHo Arts theatre review of ”West” written by Owen Thomas, directed by Gareth John Bale, and co-produced by Samantha de Gyarfas at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.

A NoHo Arts theatre review of ”West” written by Owen Thomas, directed by Gareth John Bale, co-produced by Samantha de Gyarfas, produced by Fringe Management at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival

“West,” starring Gareth John Bale and Gwenllian Higginso,  is set in the late 19th century, as America opened its borders to the huddled masses, offering free land to those who would come and take it. A young couple from Wales decides to take the chance after struggling to make ends meet farming in Wales on farmland leased to their family for centuries. A hard life made harder still when land owners raise rents they already can’t possibly afford. The couple meets in their village chapel and fall deeply in love, marrying there, in front of friends and family. But their fate seems set from their beginning and we follow them as they take their journey to a new world. 

The play is written in verse. Beautiful, lyrical, poignant and deeply moving verse. 

The Welsh voice is truly born to this, in English or in the beautiful Welsh language, and these two incredible actors hold us fully from the first moment of the play to the very last.

The actors own this story. They beguile and bewitch us as their characters do each other. 

On stage with just three small black cubes, they create their own special universe. The chapel, the farm, the ship that brings them across the stormy ocean to this new lad and the home they make in the green pastures of the Midwest. It’s utterly magical. Truly. I can’t help but hear echoes of the great Dylan Thomas and his bible black memories of his own sweet Welsh childhood. But “West” is more singularly purposeful than that. With just two main characters and a smattering of supporting ones, lovingly played by Bale and Higginson, it portrays a tenderly intimate picture of a love. A love that transported two people to a home they would build in their hearts and minds far quicker than the trains and boats and buggies of their journey ultimately would. “West” is a pure and exquisite reflection of a dream. A woman and a man destined for each other. An Adam and an Eve for a new world, but without a serpent or a sin. At least not for them and not in their time together. 

I loved this play. Can you tell? It really quite took my breath away and I wept and grinned like a fool through it all. What gorgeous words and phenomenal actors can do with a bare black stage and 60 minutes of their time is sometimes miraculous. 

Please see this play.  https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/7530

When:

Wednesday, June 15, 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 18, 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, June 19, 2:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 23, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 25, 1:00 p.m.

Where:

The Broadwater Second Stage

 6320 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038

Tickets:

https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/7530

Who:

”West”

Written by Owen Thomas 

Directed by Gareth John Bale 

Produced by Fringe Management

Co-produced by Samantha de Gyarfas

Starring Gareth John Bale and Gwenllian Higginson

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.