Following its UK premiere last summer at the fringe Tabard Theatre, Ian Brown’s production of Steven Deitz’s AIDS-era US modern classic Lonely Planet transfers for a limited West End season at Trafalgar Studios 2 to coincide with this year’s London Pride.
This year’s Pride in London month commences on Saturday 9 June and culminates with the annual Pride parade on Saturday 7 July. Closely overlapping, Lonely Planet runs at Trafalgar Studios 2 from 12 June to 7 July 2018, with a press night on 14 July.
It’s the 1980s. There is no internet and mobile phones are a rarity. A photo appears at a local store of a person’s torso with lesions all over. This is how people became aware of an unknown virus which ended up decimating the gay community. The moment you realise you’ve contracted this disease, it’s just too late. How would you react if you thought you might have a life-threatening disease? Would you want to know?
Lonely Planet is a wonderfully moving, funny and intimate play that focuses on the friendship between the distancing Jody, and the ever-imaginative Carl. The play shows an individual’s struggle to come to terms with illness, their own mortality and the stigma associated with AIDS.
Reprising their acclaimed performances from the Tabard, Alexander McMorran plays Jody opposite Aaron Vodovoz (who also produces for Surgent Theatre) as Carl. Former West Yorkshire Playhouse artistic director Ian Brown is joined in the creative team by set designer David Allen, costume designer Nik Corrall, lighting designer Will Scarnell and sound designer Peter West.
Steven Dietz‘s two-hander had its world premiere, at the height of the AIDS crisis, in 1993 in Chicago suburb Evanston, Illinois, before its New York opening in 1994.
This West End premiere season of Lonely Planet is sponsored by Pasante and INSTI self-test kits. During the run, there will be a series of seven post-show talks, with a line-up of expert guests, that will concentrate on the subjects raised in the play and how they affect society today.
Lonely Planet runs from 12 June to 7 July 2018 at London’s Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DY. Performances are Monday to Saturdays at 7.45pm, with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 3pm. Tickets are priced £20-£30. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Alexander McMorran and Aaron Vodovoz reprise their performances from the 2017 run at southwest London’s Tabard Theatre.
Alexander McMorran plays Jody. His theatre credits include The Commitments (UK and Ireland tour), Assassins (Pleasance Theatre), Miracle on 34th Street (Madinat Theatre, Dubai), Pacific Overtures (Union Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (New Wimbledon Studio), Romeo and Juliet (Bridewell Theatre), Julius Caesar (Chelsea Theatre/Saatchi Gallery), Sweeney Todd (Jericho Theatre, Vancouver), and Amadeus (Bernie Legge Theatre, Vancouver).
Aaron Vodovoz plays Carl. His theatre credits include Silent Planet (Finborough Theatre) and Bad Jews (Arts Theatre). His television credits include McMafia, Mr Selfridge and The Honourable Woman; and for film This Land Alone.
Steven Dietz’s 30 plus plays and adaptations have been seen at more than 100 regional theatres in the United States, as well as Off-Broadway. International productions have been seen in over 20 countries and his work has been translated into 10 languages. Dietz is a two-time winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award for Fiction and Still Life with Iris, as well as a two-time finalist for the Steinberg New Play Award for Last of the Boys and Becky’s New Car. He received the PEN USA West Award in Drama for Lonely Planet and the 2007 Edgar Award for Drama for Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure.
Ian Brown directs. Brown was director of The Cockpit Youth Theatre before becoming associate director at Theatre Royal Stratford East. He then became artistic director of Tag Theatre Company in Glasgow. Brown then became director of the Traverse Theatre where he oversaw the building of a new theatre for the company. After eight years in this role he returned to freelancing before becoming the artistic director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds. His directing credits include, King Lear, As You Like It (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Moscow Stations (Garrick Theatre) and Pretending To Be Me (West Yorkshire Playhouse and UK tour) and the original stage production of Trainspotting (Citizens theatre Traverse and Bush Theatre).