True West
by Sam Shepherd

Sam Shepherd - True West

BBC Radio 3: Drama on 3

Broadcast: Sunday 19th November 2006 @ 8:05 p.m.

The setting is a suburban home close to the Mojave desert in Southern California.Screenwriter Austin's work on a film script is disrupted by the arrival of his elder brother Lee. The differences between successful, creative professional Austin and brutish, desert-living Lee could not be more marked. Or could they?

Brothers Lee and Austin have opposing personalities. Austin is a sensitive, highly industrious screenwriter who has yet to get his big break. Lee, on the other hand, is a no-good, antisocial drifter and petty criminal, resentful of his brother's education and success, who won't let Austin get on with his work to meet the deadline of his producer's arrival.

When producer Saul arrives, Lee persuades him that he has a much better story to film than Austin's a recounting of his own desperado antics while being pursued through the desert. Saul is completely sold on Lee's idea and promptly orders Austin to drop his project and start work on Lee's story instead.

In the days that follow, Austin gives up writing and takes to drink, while Lee sets himself up as the creative artist, nursing his tale into life. Twist after twist takes the story to its brilliant, and inevitable, climax.

Sam Shepard's 1980 play "True West" is a brooding black comedy, focusing on the collapse of the American Dream.

With David Soul [Lee], Richard Laing [Austin], Kenneth Jay [Saul], and Liza Ross [Mom]

Directed by Peter Kavanagh.

85 min.


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