By Steven Dietz
Directed by Ian Brown
‘Plays like Angels in America and My Night with Reg may have a bigger reputation, but production of Lonely Planet has the bigger heart and greater storytelling power’
‘A remarkable play that challenges us to face our fate of fearing the unknown’
It’s the 1980s in an unknown American city. There is no internet and mobile phones are a rarity, sharing information and knowledge is near impossible. A poster appears at a local store of a person’s torso with lesions all over. It’s an unknown condition that spreads quickly.
This is how people became aware of an unknown virus which ended up decimating the gay community. The medical world barely knew what it was or how it got passed around, let alone the people themselves. The moment you realise you’ve contracted this disease, it’s just too late.
Within a climate of social stigma, isolation, and governmental neglect how would you react if you thought you might have a life-threatening disease? Would you want to know, or would you prefer to stay oblivious and isolate yourself?
Transferring from the Tabard Theatre for a strictly limited run, Lonely Planet is a wonderfully moving, funny and intimate play that focuses on the friendship between Jody, a cautious and thoughtful man who owns a map store; and Carl, a frequent visitor to the store with an unusually vivid imagination and multiple, ever-changing occupations. The play shows an individual’s struggle to come to terms with illness, their own mortality and the stigma associated with AIDS.
Sponsored by Pasante and INSTI self-test kits, and playing at Trafalgar Studio 2 in the run-up to London’s iconic Pride parade, don’t miss this heartfelt and witty production. Must end 7 July.