The HIV Monologues
From AIDS to PrEP: Love, Sex & HIV
February 2nd – 19th 2017, Ace Hotel
“Alex knows nothing about HIV but knew he should have worn the power bottom singlet. Nick is his Tinder date who’s just been diagnosed positive, struggling with self-worth. Their date is going amazingly until Nick discloses his diagnosis… And Alex reacts in the worst way. Through meeting Irene, an Irish nurse who treated AIDS in the 1980s, and Barney, who was saved by the 1996 medication, Alex gets on PrEP, but will he be able to win Nick back”?
With a very credible cast of strong actors the journey begins with Alex (Denholm Spurr) meeting Nick (Sean Hart) and finding a connection. This connection is tested when Alex procrastinates about how to behave when confronted with Nick’s status and makes some regretful mistakes. His character turns out to be complex and manipulative but with a good heart. Can love overcome ignorance? Along the journey we meet a nurse, Irene (Charly Flyet) and a Producer Barney (Jonathan Blake) who all give perspectives on their lives, how HIV has affected their lives and the devastation caused by Media negativity and other elements within Society. Alex reacting badly to Nick’s revelation starkly highlights the stigma that can come even from within the LGBT community.
Although there are 5 monologues, all the stories seque into each other and there are several scenes with more than one person on stage at a time. At times it feels more like a play than a set of monologues. The Script (Patrick Cash) is extremely well constructed and written with many elements of laugh out loud humour and references to the other characters and situations. The story does come full circle and have a feel-good ending. I would like to see this done as a play.
It’s a 1 hour play in a venue within a swanky hotel. There’s an internet cafe on the ground floor lobby of the Ace Hotel. The Miranda Club where the play is performed has a bar and there’s a waffle house outside. With the play starting at 7pm and only 70 mins long it could be a treat on your way home from work, or the start of a bigger evening! And you’ll see some great acting with a meaningful story, an emotional roller coaster as you travel with the actors. A fun night out!
But, unfortunately, there is little in the way of Production.
With this website being dedicated to the technical and design aspects of productions……..as much as I enjoyed the show, I have to be honest here:
The Set is 2 black leg cloth borders and 1 Chair.
The Sound is only for After-Show muzak with no soundscape or Sound Effects.
The Lighting Design (Liam Mercer) is minimal. Not even 3 point lighting, just 1 or 2 front light LEDs – and with a thrust stage the view from the side seats would be very strange. The LED fixtures only lighting from the front creates a very flat dull look. The 1 special for audience entrances focussed to the left of the column but the actors stand to the right of the column. (Surprisingly there’s an in-house MA onPC wing in the Miranda).
Produced by Dragonflies Theatre and Theatre Bench
Directed by Luke Davies
February 2nd 2017 – February 19th 2017
Monday – Saturday, 7pm (not 15th)
matinees 3pm on Sundays (not 12th)
Ace Hotel, 100 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JQ
Ticket Price £15 (£12 concessions)
Box Office Eventbrite (eventbrite.co.uk)
Links Dragonflies Theatre (dragonfliestheatre.co.uk/hiv-monologues)