16th June 2021
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Cruise: Jack Holden Performs One Man LGBT+ Show Set In 80s London

Cruise Jack Holden Performs One Man LGBT+ Show Set In 80s London TheatreArtLife
By Michelle Sciarrotta

Cruise is a one man show written and performed by Jack Holden (best known for War Horse), set in 1980s London that is centred around the men affected by the AIDS crisis. Based on Holden’s experience as a volunteer at the LGBT+ listening service switchboard, the show is scheduled to continue its run until 13th June at London’s Duchess Theatre.

The show

Cruise is directed by Bronagh Lagan, and has a live soundtrack performed by John Elliot, additional sound design by Max Peppenheim, features design by Nik Corrall, and movement by Sarah Golding.

With a tagline of “1988. Soho. His last night on earth.” the show’s plot explains:

“When he’s diagnosed with HIV in 1984, Michael is told he’ll have four years to live – at most. On the last night of his four-year countdown, Michael decides to go out with a bang. He says his goodbyes, dances, sings, and says yes to everything and everyone.

Written and performed by Jack Holden with ‘vast charm, empathy and energy’ (Evening Standard), CRUISE is a celebration of queer culture; a kaleidoscopic musical and spoken word tribute to the veterans of the AIDs crisis; an urgent piece of theatre, with an irresistible 80s soundtrack, which will make you laugh, make you cry, and which inspires us all to live every day as if it’s our last.”

How to attend

As Covid-19 restrictions are easing in the UK, the Duchess Theatre in London is adhering to the current government guidelines, which means that bookings can be for up to six people from mixed households or larger where only two households combine.

If anyone in a booking party experiences symptoms of Covid-19 or is required to self-isolate the theatre will honour their 100% exchange guarantee up to 24 hours before the performance.

The show runs for 90 minutes with no interval and has a variety of performances to attend through the week that includes:

  • Tuesday – Friday at 8pm
  • Saturday at 3pm and 8pm
  • Sunday at 3pm and 7pm.

Tickets start from £20 and can be purchased here.

Please note Cruise is recommended for audiences aged 16 and up due to the production containing adult themes including references to self-harm.

Cruise Theatre Show

Reception

The show has received fantastic reviews across the board since the start of its run in May 2021, with Broadway World describing Cruise as being:

“Epic in form, this piece is deserving of being a sell-out hit.”

The Telegraph praised the show and drew parallels between Cruise and the recent iconic British television series It’s A Sin, about a group of friends in the shadow of AIDS in 1980s London, calling the production:

“Life affirming and as searingly honest as It’s A Sin

The Guardian’s Kate Wyver praised Holden’s script writing and research in her review of Cruise, and noted his reverence in portraying this subject and the real people affected, saying:

“The weight of Cruise hits so strongly in part because of its sublime joy, vividly depicting the hedonistic pleasures, the thrill of dance and the strength of the queer community.

Through it all – the parties, the deaths, the love, the sex – the world Holden builds has an unwavering sense of respect for a lost generation of gay men.”

Cruise is at The Duchess Theatre from 18th May – 13th June.

Links:

FAQ and Info on visiting The Duchess Theatre

Purchase tickets to Cruise

Also by Michelle Sciarrotta:

Accessibility At The Smith Center Series: Part One

James “Fitz” FitzSimmons Interview: The Boys In The Band On Netflix

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