Tuesday, June 22

Stage: Way Out West

- January 3, 2012

Side-splitting comedy written by Brightonian Paul Hodson at The Hawth in Crawley

Way Out West is a new play combining side-splitting comedy with heart-rending melancholy and ending with a very funny dance. What more could you want?! Way Out West, by Paul Hodson (writer of Meeting Joe Strummer), is a meditation on loneliness and grief but at first glance it could just be a funny play fuelled by beer and coincidence.

Two men walk into a pub… and then it stops being normal. Two strangers meet in a busy bar. Peter is convinced that he has met Simon somewhere before; Simon totally denies it. Pints are drunk; conversation covers the creation of the universe, the meaning of happiness, the chemical construction of pork scratchings and how they seem to know more about each other than complete strangers could, or should. And they both seem to recollect dreams in which they met Laurel and Hardy and each other.

As the alcohol kicks in Simon and Peter find themselves lurching towards an unnerving philosophical and spiritual world, where it becomes a distinct possibility that they are Laurel and Hardy reincarnated…

But that’s simply laughable, absurd and beyond comprehension isn’t it? The evening gets messy. Simon and Peter veer from displays of extreme vulnerability and love, to antagonism and on towards the brink of violence. Last orders are called, the two square up, vowing never to lay eyes on each other ever again, then the strains of ‘Commencement to Dancing’ from Way Out West are heard. The fuming, angry lads are transformed, performing a hilarious, gentle dance, just as Laurel and Hardy would have done. Absurd and wonderful – not to be missed.

Wednesday 1 February 7.45pm, The Hawth Studio, Crawley, £14/£12, available from The Hawth box office on 01293 553636 or www.hawth.co.uk

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