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THEATRE REVIEW | The HIV Monologues

★★★★★ | The HIV Monologues

The HIV monologues review
CREDIT: Dionysis Livanis

From AIDS to PrEP: Love, Sex & HIV

If you met a moreish specimen of a man on Grindr, in Rupert St Bar or at a friend’s gatherette and there was immediate trouser-twitching, shimmies to the heart department and your thoughts turned towards naming your first pair French bulldogs – but then, after some time into this meet, said hottie informs you he’s HIV positive – do you know how you’d react?

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Marking twenty years since life-saving HIV medication was introduced to the UK, Patrick Cash has penned a very real production that will send sparks to your neurons, pricking your nervous system: a trio of scenarios that are entwined together touching on the effects of HIV in the 80s up until the current day.

Alex (Denholm Spurr) – a Labrador puppy intermixed with a male cheerleader with obtuse understanding of the immune-attacking virus – struggles with the idea of being close to someone who’s positive, and barely has enough shrapnel to buy even the smallest tube of lube.  The out-of-work actor gets himself into a sticky situation with the truth.

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Lack of knowledge inflames fear, but understanding can provoke the guardian in all of us.  Irene’s (Charly Flyte) journey nursing AIDS patients is moving and compelling.  Barney (Jonathan Blake – one of the first people to have been diagnosed with AIDS in the UK) learns to live with the deficient insight with HIV in the 80s – a convincing performance.

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A Thunder Looper of emotions: stigma, humour, shame and love – some well-directed tandem acting by Luke Davies – a challenging subject to cover – executed well.

Two new dates at the King’s Head Theatre as part of their World AIDS Day weekend 20th and 21st November.

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