The heart and soul of the Western isn’t forged by the sprawling landscapes but in the volatile mix of humanity occupying those spaces. Recognizing this, rising British playwright Jethro Compton has refashioned The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance into an intimately drawn character study. Adapted from the original short story by Dorothy M. Johnson (which also provided the basis for the revered John Ford film), the drama centers on Ransome Foster, an idealistic attorney from New York City who is journeying west by stagecoach when he is viciously accosted by the notorious outlaw Liberty Valance. Though brutally beaten, Foster refuses to flee the town, instead dedicating himself to promoting law and order. His determination earns the reluctant respect of taciturn cowboy Tom Doniphon, and the consoling affections of a kindhearted local, Hallie. Liberty Valance doesn’t take so kindly to the intrusion, however, leading to a conflict that entangles all of the central characters.