entertainment

Cruise: Gay '80s-set musical starring Jack Holden coming to London's West End and streaming

The bold new one-man show explores 1980s London during the height of the Aids crisis - as well as what came after.

2021-03-18

If you're still pining for Russell T Davies' powerful Aids drama It's a Sin, a new show coming to London's West End and streaming online could just be the perfect tonic.

Written and performed by Warhorse star Jack Holden, Cruise is a bold new gay musical drama that explores life in 1980s London during the height of the Aids crisis - as well as what came after.

The one-man show (which you can get tickets for here) tells the story of Michael Spencer, who decides to sell his house a go out with a bang after he and his partner are diagnosed with HIV in the mid-80s and given four years to live.

But when Michael unexpectedly outlives the doctors' diagnosis, he's forced to begin rebuilding a life he'd already said goodbye to.

Inspired by a true story and described as a "timely celebration of queer culture and a powerful tribute to the veterans of the Aids crisis", Cruise is set to open The Duchess Theatre in London on 18 May and run until 13 June.

As the theatre industry continues to grapple with coronavirus restrictions, a filmed version will also be available to watch online at Stream.Theatre from 15-25 April.

Jack Holden says of the show, which is directed by Bronagh Lagan and features a live '80s electronic soundtrack by John Elliott: "Cruise is based on a true story I was told while I was a volunteer for Switchboard, the LGBTQ+ Listening Service. I was in a weird, unstable, self-destructive part of my early 20s.

"This story, among others, taught me my gay history, put my life into perspective, and helped me to grow up. The names and a lot of the events have been changed, and a hell of a lot of material has been imagined.

"This play is a tribute to a generation decimated by HIV and AIDs, a memorial for the old days of Soho, a celebration of electronic music, and an excuse to dance."

Cruise will be available to stream online from 15-25 April and will be live at The Duchess Theatre, London from 18 May - 13 June.

Tickets for are available now here.