Theatre Review: True West starring Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn

  • True West is a psychological play coming to the West End for a limited season of 12 weeks, starting November 23rd – February 16th. 
  • The last time London saw this play was in 2015 at the Tricycle Theatre.
  • Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn are among
    Adam Driver, Michael Shannon and Bruce Willis of people who have performed in this play prior.
  • Tickets are still avaliable for prices starting at £39.50.

Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn star in a new West End production of Sam Shepard’s conceptual thriller, True West. The British actors and singer-songwriter status that Flynn has to his name, take the West End stage yet again after both having considerable stage careers. With Harington making his West End debut in 2007 at the National Theatre production of War Horse, and Flynn most recently appearing in Oscar-winner Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen at the Royal Court, the show has definitely raised some high expectations.

Performing at the Vaudeville Theatre for a limited season of 12 weeks, (November 23rd 2018 to February 16th 2019) the show will reunite Flynn with Hangmen director Matthew Dunster, who is sure to bring a ferocious energy to the modern production. The first ever production of the show was at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, where Shepard was the resident playwright.

True West is a psychological play following the story of two brothers reuniting after half a decade. Harington, best known for his infamous role on Game of Throne’s as ‘Jon Snow’ plays ‘Austin’, a struggling Hollywood screenwriter. Alongside Vanity Fair’s ‘Johnny Flynn’ who plays Austin’s brother, Lee, a wanderer who makes a living off burgling houses.

Live Review

After 5 years of not seeing eye to eye, the brothers unwillingly reunite in their mother’s Hollywood home, where their relationship is pushed to new limits as they both threaten to shatter each others dreams.

The play starts with no announcement and six silent minutes of just Harington alone on stage. After Flynn arrives, they begin to converse. The strong presence of the two characters alter during the play, with Flynn stealing the first half, Harington stepped up his game after the interval.


Our high view perspective had audience members flushing with excitement when Kit Harington (Austin) walked on stage. The realistic conversation and refined acting between the two makes it feel like you are intruding into the warm Californian home set on stage. You are immediately drawn in to a perpetual psychological power play between the two leads. True West, which correlates from the brothers wanting to create a ‘True Western’ film, sees the siblings trying to reach their American dreams.

Just as I was thinking that Flynn’s character (Lee) was the most intruging, our companions uttered that Flynn is the much stronger out of the two. Which remains true until the second half. Harington really shone through and put on a striking comedic performance with the utterly hilarious toast jokes. (You had to be there.)
Flynn’s character has more personality but towards the end you realise it’s Harrington who has such a rational and complex character, that I believe he played incredibly well.

Flynn deserves acknowledgement as the lesser known actor for providing a distinctly captivating central performance. Both the actors put on remarkable performances, but Flynn’s just slightly took the edge. However, I have heard better American accents. Flynn took a while to ease into it, whereas Harington nailed it from the opening line.

With the audience completely engaged, True West is not a show you want to miss out on.

Tickets are still available starting from £39.50 as performances continue to run for a remaining 11 weeks, until February 16th.
I doubt Santa is going to buy them so you might as well do it.