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The Lonesome West by Cardinal Stage Company - Bloomington

The Lonesome West


Martin McDonagh can write dialogue. No other playwrite creates conversations like Martin McDonagh. In The Cardinal Stage Company's production of The Lonesome West, inspired by Sam Shapard's True West, McDonagh pits two 30-something brothers (Valene and Coleman) against one another, beginning the day their father is buried after being killed accidentally by one of the brothers. These are two of the most resentful, foulmouthed, short-tempered, and spiteful brothers you'll ever see. They constantly verbally and physically abuse one another in very funny and ridiculous ways. Their local priest, Father Welsh (the desperate coach of the foulingest girls football team of all time), is at their house often trying to get them to behave, while also begging for a drink or two.
A local lass, Girleen, pokes her head in on occasion to sell the brothers the poteen her father brews. She also loves to tease (or flirt with?)Father Welsh. Coleman and Valene fight over everything: the poteen, the crisps Valene bought, the sole Woman's World magazine in the house, Valene's beloved stove and religious figurines, and most importantly, money.
Following a tragic event, the brothers feel they need to straighten out and become nice to one another. This leads to the highlight of the production, the segment where Valene and Coleman sequentially apologize to one another for the mean and ever-worse heinous acts they've committed against one another since they were children. They relish getting their creative and effective pranks off their chest, always completing the confession with an apology.
Despite apparently being populated by accents from four different regions of Ireland, this production of The Lonesome West pleases. The Lonesome West is the third play in McDonagh's acclaimed Connemara Trilogy, following The Beauty Queen of Leenane and A Skull in Connemara. Both Kevin Lee Guthridge as Valene and Mike Price as Coleman give energetic and fun perfomances. John Michael Goodson provides the heart and plenty of comic relief as Father Roderick (!) Welsh, and Alana Cheshire entrances all three men as Girleen.
The Cardinal Stage Company production runs only through Sunday, April 10. For info and tickets, visit their website at or call 812.323.3020.