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True West

Narrated by: Kit Harington, Johnny Flynn
Length: 1 hr and 27 mins
3 out of 5 stars (6,962 ratings)

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Go Behind the Scenes of True West

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The two are fairly matched in this psychological cage fight-style take on the work … so as to emphasize the humorous more than the tragic aspect.

- Hollywood Reporter
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Our favorite moments from True West

I’m not bothering you, am I?
The kind of place you sort of wish you grew up in
How do things work down here?

  • True West
  • I’m not bothering you, am I?
  • True West
  • The kind of place you sort of wish you grew up in
  • True West
  • How do things work down here?

About the Performer

While still a student at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, Kit Harington was cast as Albert in the smash production of War Horse, performing the lead role at the National Theatre and and the New London Theatre, now known as the Gillian Lynne Theatre, in the West End. In 2011, he landed the breakthrough role of Jon Snow in HBO's Game of Thrones. The wildly popular fantasy series, which won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in 2018, would bring him his first Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, as well as nominations for several Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Ensemble in a Drama. He has continued to perform in television, on film, and on the London stage, most notably as the title role in Dr. Faustus and Austin in True West, and on television and film. Kit's film credits include Testament of Youth, Spooks: The Greater Good, 7 Days in Hell, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (as the voice of Eret).

About the Performer

Johnny Flynn is an actor, composer, and songwriter who has worked extensively across film, television, and theater. His film credits include Beast, Love Is Thicker Than Water, Clouds of Sils Maria, and Song One. On the stage, he has starred in Martin McDonagh’s hit Hangmen (both the West End and New York productions), Jerusalem (for which he received an Olivier Award nomination), The Low Road, Richard III, and Twelfth Night. On television, he has appeared in Vanity Fair, Genius: Einstein, Lovesick, Brotherhood, The Nightmare Worlds of H.G. Wells, and Detectorists. He has released five albums to date with his band Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit.

About the Playwright

Sam Shepard’s first New York plays, Cowboys and The Rock Garden, were produced by Theatre Genesis in 1964. For several seasons, he worked with Off-Off-Broadway theater groups including La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club and Caffe Cino. Eleven of his plays won Obie Awards, including Chicago, The Tooth of Crime, and Curse of the Starving Class. Other award-winning plays include Fool for Love, True West, A Lie of the Mind, and Buried Child, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979. In 1986, Shepard was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy in 1992. He was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame two years later. As a writer and director, he filmed Far North and Silent Tongue. As an actor, he appeared in numerous films, including The Right Stuff, Days of Heaven, and Resurrection. His final works of prose, The One Inside and Spy of the First Person, were published in 2017, the year of his death.

Photograph by Brigitte Lacombe.

About the Director

Matthew Dunster is an Olivier-nominated director, playwright, and actor. He has directed more than 20 productions in the UK, including Martin McDonagh’s A Very Very Very Dark Matter at the Bridge Theatre, Love’s Sacrifice for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and The Seagull for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. He served as the Associate Director of Shakespeare’s Globe from 2015 to 2017 and the Associate Director of the Young Vic Theatre from 2005 to 2009. He was nominated twice for the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre—once in 2006 for Dennis Kelly’s Love and Money, and then again in 2012 for his production of Vivienne Franzmann’s Mogadishu. His third Olivier nomination for Best Director came in 2016, for his production of Martin McDonagh’s critically acclaimed play, Hangmen. Dunster’s writing credits include Children’s Children, You Can See the Hills, and his reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Most Incredible Thing, a collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys and choreographer Javier De Frutos.

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Editorial Review

Everything—and nothing—but the truth

This darkly comic and tragically ironic play focuses on the relationship between two seemingly opposite siblings, Austin and Lee—cunningly portrayed by Kit Harrington and Johnny Flynn—as they spar verbally and physically over several days and nights. While they dance around the truths they try so hard to hide, the feelings they can't conceal involuntarily emerge, until the nature of their relationship is revealed to be far more complicated—and simple—than expected. —Sean T., Audible Editor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,111
  • 4 Stars
    1,151
  • 3 Stars
    1,612
  • 2 Stars
    1,325
  • 1 Stars
    1,763

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,100
  • 4 Stars
    1,285
  • 3 Stars
    1,141
  • 2 Stars
    811
  • 1 Stars
    1,105

Story

  • 2.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    884
  • 4 Stars
    912
  • 3 Stars
    1,385
  • 2 Stars
    1,253
  • 1 Stars
    1,997
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Screenwriters, golf and brother's hate

This theatre production include swearing, violence, and discussions on alcoholism. It you have an issue with any of that it may not be for you.

The story is two brothers who are catching up after a long time being separate. They have never got along and a lot of the problems and history boil to the surface here. One of the brothers is a success, currently house sitting for their mother, while working on a screenplay. When the other brother, generally a failure and criminal, starts interfering with the screen play and with the sale to a movie company the tension between the brothers rise quickly.

The story is interesting and intense. The tensions and hate between the two flies off the page. I couldn't put it down. I wanted to know what was happening next.

However, it also doesn't lend itself to audio only in places. There are sometimes gaps in audio when they are following stage movements, and so what is happening isn't clear. Other times there are things they are doing that isn't exactly clear because it's not in the dialogue. The sound effects help, but not fully. Visuals would help significantly. It''s not that you can't follow the story without visuals, it's just it's not always clear.

The acting by Harington, Flynn and others is really great. It is extremely well performed and the characters come to life. The emotions - the hate, disgust, excitement, anger etc. felt by the brothers is clear and palpable. It is extremely well acted.

The levels on the audio are not mixed great. Between scenes there is much, but it is mixed at a higher level than the other parts. After the first scene there is a really loud, booming, foreboding horn played. As it was the first time it really took me by surprise and actually hurt a little. Other times it is high energy exciting. But every time it is loud.

Personally I wasn't a fan of the sound production. There is also a huge 'wall of sound' to the whole production. Crickets in the background for entire scenes, type writer noise or other background noise and music.

This would be a play I would love to actually see on stage. As an audio only production, it is really good but not amazing.

[If you enjoy this review please check out my other reviews. I review a lot of small press and indie books - support the small guys and you may find something new you will love]

303 of 321 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Horrible

This performance was truly, deeply horrible! The book was free but I resent waisting one of my free choices on this book.
The acting was so bad that I couldn't get past the first 20 minutes. I knew after the first minute that I was in for some really bad voice acting but, I hoped that the story would compensate. IT DIDN'T. Don't get this audio book...even for free!

53 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

what the heck was that?

that was odd and awkward. a waste of a free credit and I have a pretty open mind for audiobooks. this is the first free book that i actually HATED.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The narration have me a headache

I might have enjoyed hearing this story if it wasn’t screamed in such an over the top fashion. I couldn’t wait for it to end, and when it did I was disappointed with the conclusion.

73 of 81 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Very Bad

I’ve never seen the play or any adaptation, but I recalled the title, and with Kit Harington in it I thought I would give it a shot as one of my free originals.

The only positive is that it is short, so not too much of your time is wasted.

Everything in this play is extremely underdeveloped. I couldn’t care less about either of the characters. All of the dialogue feels condensed and stripped. I assume this is a complete performance of the play? If that is true, Sam Shepard must have won a bet with a producer to get this made, as it is all awful.

The performances are quite bad as well, everyone is using peculiar accents that sound like caricatures of the people they are supposed to be.

36 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Y I K E S

A massacre of Shepard’s work. The American accents were so bad, I had to turn it off at 1:24.
Even though this was free this month, I overpaid...

69 of 78 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Awesome if you are into lots of yelling

I only made it halfway through. It was like being a bartender in a noisy bar and being forced to listen to drunk men yell at each other, in hopes of maybe getting a tip at the end. It wasn't worth waiting for the tip.

74 of 84 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

like terrible community theater

The story line is awful. the characters are cheesy. the acting was mediocre at best. definitely not something I would recommend

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Whiny with lots of yelling and overacting

I thought I'd like it more with Kit Harrington and Sam Shepard but it was pretty dreadful. The story overflowed with angst and was a red hot mess. It resembled a dysfunctional Thanksgiving with too much cheap booze and no pie.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Meh

It was well performed. but really too much yelling. no need to be so extravagant with the over the top screaming all the time. it other then that it wasn't bad.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lauren Fletcher
  • 04-16-19

Family feud with grit and wit.

Would love to see live but this is the next best thing. Brill thanks 😁

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • dianne
  • 04-05-19

Love True West

Saw the play 7 times, love the audible was fun to listen to and imagine the actors on stage

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr T A Crossley
  • 04-16-19

Brothers at War

An unusual choice for Audible as this is a cast recording of an excellent but very visible production of Sam Shepherd's curious play performed recently at the Vaudeville Theatre in London. Great work by the two leads, Kit Harrington and Johnny Flynn. A must for anyone studying contemporary American drama - a bit of a puzzle for anyone who has not seen or read the play

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelvin
  • 08-01-19

Incredible

All I can say I was captivated from
Start to finish. Incredible performances from Kit and Johnny highly recommended.