Dead Man’s Hat
A play by Charles Way
A psychological Western based on the simple notion of turning the premise of “Shane” on its head. A gunslinger arrives at a small Wyoming homestead and gets caught up in the battle between corporate (cattle ranching) and individual (farming). In “Shane” the gunslinger is at best a good man trying to go straight. In “Dead Man’s Hat”, Clay, the gunslinger, is the all-American psychopath, intent on destroying the very thing he wants most, a family. The Western has traditionally been a genre which critics have ignored or spurned but audiences enjoy. The best of the genre are metaphores and achieve a tragic grandeur akin to Greek drama. “Dead Man’s Hat” reaches out in that direction. (taken from Charles Way’s introduction to “Three Plays” published by Seren Drama).