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Lonely Planet - Trafalgar Studios

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SURGENT Theatre is presenting Steven Dietz’s Lonely Planet at Trafalgar Studios in the run up to London’s iconic Pride parade. Directed by Ian Brown, it runs from June 12 to July 7, 2018,

The play originally premièred in the US at the Northlight Theatre, Illinois in 1993 and this production made its UK première at the Tabard Theatre last year. Ian Brown returns to direct Alexander McMorran (as Jody) and Aaron Vodovoz (Carl).

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 covered with lesions. 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?

Sponsored by Pasante and INSTI self-test kits, Lonely Planet is described as 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.

In addition, there will be seven post-show talks and Q&As that will concentrate on the subjects raised in the play and how they affect society today. These include the below with more to be announced.

Friday, June 15 – Jonathan Blake

Tuesday, June 26 – Mike Youle, Michael Brady and Yusef Azad

Friday, June 29 – Dr. Rupert Whitaker

Friday, July 6 – Rebekah Tallon-De Havalland

Steven Dietz’s 30 plus plays and adaptations have been seen at over 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.

In 2010, Dietz was once again named one of the most produced playwrights in America (excluding Shakespeare) – he was placed eighth on the list of the Top Ten Most Produced Playwrights in America and tied with Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee for number of productions.

Alexander McMorran’s (Jody) 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’(Carl) theatre credits include Silent Planet (Finborough Theatre) and Bad Jews (Arts Theatre). His screen work includes McMafia, Mr Selfridge and The Honourable Woman (TV); and This Land Alone (film).

Lonely Planet is suitable for ages 11+.

Tickets: Previews: £15, Standard: £30, Concession: £25 evenings, £20 matinees. To book, call the box office on 0844 871 7632 or visit www.atgtickets.com/venues/trafalgar-studios/.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.45pm, Thursday and Saturday at 3pm.

Running time: 100 minutes, including interval.

Also at Trafalgar Studios: multi award-winning Tracy Letts’ blackly comic thriller Killer Joe, starring Orlando Bloom (until August 18) and William Gibson’s timeless comedy drama Two For The Seesaw (July 12 to August 4, 2018).