Big State Theatre presents Gone West

Gone West

Follow a couple as they drive from their home in Eastern Europe through the ghost of the Iron Curtain to the imagined glories of the West..... in a Skoda!

En route they encounter a multitude of bizarre characters leaving a trail of chaos and skid marks in their wake.

As the barriers crumble following the end of the Cold War, will capitalism triumph?

East meets West and neither will be the same again.

Balalaika meets Techno in an original score by Sheldon King.

Devised by the company, Gone West is a dynamic hybrid of slapstick and physical theatre using minimal dialogue.

"A post 1989 Pilgrims Progress"

"Wonderful bug-eyed naivety"

"A fine piece of seamless ensemble playing"

"Wonderfully naff hair styles and an excellent musical score"

"This talented threesome clearly delighted the audience...more please" Venue Magazine

Rehearsal scrapbook
Meet the cast
press clippings


The Show

Gone West was created over a three and a half week period by the director and the performers. Taking the initial ideas as a framework, scenes were improvised based on reseasrch and personal experience of life in Eastern Europe. It is these improvisations that form the basis of the show. The challenge was to cross the language barrier; one made more difficult by the fact that many of the venues we would be visiting in Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Germany wanted us to bring them a piece of English Theatre. As well as using physical theatre techniques, together with a healthy dose of slapstick, we decided to keep the dialogue simple and obvious so that non-english speakers could enjoy the play as well.

The music was created in a similar way, with Sheldon sitting in on rehearsals and improvising, before writing and recording the score.

We previewed the show in Bath before driving to Szeged on the Serbian border for the first leg of the tour. It was hugely successful and quite an adventure! We performed everywhere from a Hungarian village hall in front of twenty schoolchildren, to a packed one thousand seater venue in the Czech Republic courtesy of the British Council.