Fringe Review: Western

The Mahwaff Theatre Company's witty satire on the cowboy genre is a Fringe Festival Praha highlight

If you're a lover of the written word or relish witty repartee, then this cleverly composed ensemble piece is your ticket to a fine evening out.

Relying on the barest of sets, four chairs and minimal lighting, the four actors manage to convey an array of settings and characters through interesting ensemble work and fast-paced transitions. They're sharp, funny, and fast-talking, truly a pleasure to watch.

Within one hour, the audience travels from England to Boston to the Wild West following the personal mishaps and adventures of the fairly naïve and often arrogant Charles, an English academic. We are introduced to a cast of stereotypical characters, from the buxom saloon girl to the Native-American shaman. All played by a combination of actors drifting in and out of roles.

What most impressed me, however, was the playwright’s astute sensibility and meta-textual allusions. Ben Woolf plays with the notion of typecast characters and the tired spaghetti western genre and imbues it with humor and sarcasm, thereby commenting on the subtext of such stories. It's a subtle satire but a deft one that engages the mind and entertains simultaneously.

This is certainly one of the best shows I’ve seen so far at this year’s festival. Don’t miss it!

For more information on Fringe Festival Praha events see the official website.

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