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Jack Holden's Cruise premieres at Duchess Theatre in May

Holden's one-man play centres on a man living with AIDs

Jack Holden in the artwork for Cruise

Jack Holden's one-man play Cruise will premiere at the West End's Duchess Theatre from 18 May to 13 June 2021.

Based on a true story Holden was told whilst volunteering for Switchboard, the LGBTQ listening service, the play pays tribute to a generation decimated by HIV and AIDs.

Produced by Aria Entertainment and Lambert Jackson, marking their West End debuts, Cruise is billed as "an urgent, moving and inspirational new play with live music and spoken word."

It centres on Michael Spencer, who prepares to go out with a bang on what he expects to be his last night on earth after being diagnosed with AIDs in the 1980s. But when he unexpectedly survives, what kind of life can he now live?

Writer and performer Jack Holden's acting credits include War Horse in the West End and Ink at the Almeida Theatre. Cruise marks his West End debut as a playwright.

The creative team also includes Bronagh Lagan (director), John Elliott (music and sound design), Nik Corrall (design), STUFISH (co-design), Jai Morjaria (lighting designer) Sarah Golding (movement) and Max Pappenheim (additional sound design).

A filmed version of Cruise will be available to watch via stream.theatre from 15 to 25 April.

Aria Entertainment's Katy Lipson said: "After receiving the script during lockdown, I couldn't have imagined that we'd be presenting it as our first West End play the following year. I am so looking forward to sharing it with a live audience."

Nica Burns of Nimax Theatres added: "Hard as it is to find anything to celebrate in the theatre in this incredibly difficult pandemic year, being able to invite a talented new team of theatre makers to reopen the Duchess theatre is a delight."

At the Duchess it precedes the return of The Play That Goes Wrong, which recently announced it is reopening on 18 June.

Tickets for Cruise are on sale now

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