★★★★★ | The HIV Monologues
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?
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.
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.
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.