Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu’s off-Broadway musical The Last Session is to receive its European premiere at the Tristan Bates Theatre in September, directed by Guy Retallack.

Set in a recording studio in 1996, singer/songwriter Gideon is tired of being ill and ready to give up. He’s holding one last session to record the most important album of his life. To show his undying love to his partner, he plans to record a musical letter of farewell. For this last session, he reunites with some old friends and is joined by an unexpected visitor, who shares Gideon’s Christian faith and for whom Gideon’s sexuality changes everything.

Steve Schalchlin is also the author of the blog, Living in The Bonus Round, started in 1996, which has become a living testament to his battle with AIDS. Schalchlin and Jim Brochu wrote The Last Session partly based on Steve’s experience of the illness, premiering it Off-Broadway in 1997. The duo also created the award-winning The Big Voice: God or Merman?

Director Guy Retallack’s work for the stage includes the award nominated Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story; Liberty (Shakespeare’s Globe and National Tour); Faster (Filter Theatre at the Lyric Hammersmith and 59E59 Street Theater New York); The Secret Rapture (Lyric Theatre); Tommy (BKL National Tour); Worlds End (Trafalgar Studios) and Future Me (Theatre 503, followed by an ACE national tour).

Produced by Climar Productions, with casting by Anne Vosser, musical direction by Tom Turner and lighting by Richard Williamson, The Last Session runs at the Tristan Bates Theatre from 25 September to 27 October.