Celebrating its 30th anniversary, William M. Hoffman’s As Is is coming to Trafalgar Studios with a stunning new cast and design. Using humour and sensitivity, As Is shatters the apathy and ignorance surrounding AIDS in the 1980s. The significance and urgency of As Is has become even greater as more people than ever before are contracting HIV; almost 110,000 people are living with HIV in the UK.
Due to the fact that the UK still does not yet have an AIDS memorial, audiences are encouraged to turn the Studio 2 auditorium into a temporary memorial by covering the walls with messages, names and memories of all those we have lost to AIDS. Please note that special pens have been provided in the auditorium to do this.
There will be an array of post-show events on offer such as rapid HIV testing, talks, and Q&As by eminent speakers; including Jonathan Blake who was one of the first people to be diagnosed with HIV in 1982.
Post-show event highlights include:
Every Friday throughout the run the post-show discussion includes the opportunity for free, confidential, rapid HIV testing after the performance from professionals of 56 Dean Street.
Thursday 2nd July 2015 – Q&A with director Andrew Keates
Director of As Is will be discussing reviving the play at both the Finborough Theatre and Trafalgar Studios, and the unique perspective of directing it once when he believed he was HIV- and now as a HIV+ HIV/AIDS campaigner and the current struggles that face those with HIV.
Saturday 4 July 2015 – AIDS Plays – In conversation with Dr. Emily Garside, director of As Is, Andrew Keates and associate director Sarah Stephenson. Dr. Emily Garside has a PHD in AIDS related plays. She joins director Andrew Keates and associate director Sarah Stephenson in an informal discussion as to the various historic pieces that have been written about the subject matter of HIV and AIDS and the parallels with other theatrical works.
Monday 6 July & Thursday 16 July 2015 – In Conversation with Paul Gambaccini
Paul Gambaccini talks about his experiences of HIV/AIDS from the 1980s and how it affected his friends and colleagues in the entertainment/music industry, including Freddie Mercury, Kenny Everett and many others. He also discusses his involvement in the foundation of the Terrence Higgins Trust, his unique perspective of AIDS hitting America before it hit the UK and the realities of HIV and AIDS today.
Tuesday 7 July & Wednesday 15 July 2015 – Real Pride – In Conversation with Jonathan Blake
Jonathan Blake was one of the first people to be diagnosed in London with HIV back in 1982. He worked as a volunteer for the Terrence Higgins Trust, Food Chain and Lighthouse for many years and was the face of THT’s first ever poster campaign. During the 80s he was involved with the group Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. He is the inspiration for the character played by Dominic West in the recent film ‘Pride’.
Tuesday 14 July 2015 – Bent Plays: In Conversation with Martin Sherman
Martin Sherman is an iconic playwright, perhaps best known for his ground-breaking gay plays including Bent – the first play to explore homosexuality within German concentration camps. Martin will be discussing if LGBT plays affect the gay community and his own experiences as a gay man throughout so many decades of change. The Q&A will also include cast member Steven Webb and director Andrew Keates.
Monday 20 July 2015 – Act Up, Fight Back, Fight Aids!
A discussion with Dan Glass and Lynette Destiny on the new wave of ACT UP London
Dan Glass is an award-winning activist, performer and writer who was named as one of Attitude Magazine’s campaigning role models for LGBTQI youth and a Guardian ‘UK Youth Climate Leader’. Dan founded the new chapter of ACT UP London (Aids Coalition To Unleash Power) which has led to high-profile actions such as the recent ACT UP FOR LOVE rally in Trafalgar Square. Dan will be joined by other members of ACT UP London and director of As Is, Andrew Keates.
Thursday 30 July 2015 – Lisa Power MBE
Lisa Power has been involved with HIV since before it had a name. She worked with Terrence Higgins Trust, most recently as Policy Director, for 17 years. Lisa has been consistently involved in human rights campaigns for 35 years, first as a writer and activist for lesbian and gay rights and then in HIV and sexual health. She was a founding member of the Stonewall Group, the UK’s leading LGBT rights lobby group, and was an early Secretary-General of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, being the first out gay person to speak at the United Nations on behalf of gay rights. She also volunteered at London’s Gay Switchboard from 1979 to 1994, the helpline that was central to the gay community response in the early days of AIDS.
These events are held in partnership with organisations such as 56 Dean Street Sexual Health Clinic, the Make A Difference Trust, Terrence Higgins Trust and other notable charities.
All post-show events are free and all are welcome to attend. They will start at approximately 9.15pm and last for 30 – 40 minutes. Free, confidential, rapid HIV testing will be offered by professionals of 56 Dean Street after every Friday evening performance at Trafalgar Studios.
As Is by William H. Hoffman
Wednesday 1st July – Saturday 1st August 2015
Monday to Saturday, 7.45pm
Thursday and Saturday matinees, 3pm
Running time Approximately 70 minutes with no interval