Jack Holden's Olivier Award-nominated play exploring queer culture in the 1980s returns to the West End.
It's the height of the HIV/AIDs epidemic in 1984 - Michael Spencer is diagnosed with HIV and given four years to live. He and his partner Dave abandon their pedestrian lives in favour of partying 24/7. When Dave dies, Michael doubles down on his hedonistic lifestyle, spending the rest of his dwindling funds on drink and drugs.
On 29th February 1988 - the final night of his four year countdown - Michael heads to Soho and embarks on a long night of farewells. After he sings, dances, and says "yes" to everything and everyone, he ... survives.
Written and performed by Jack Holden ('War Horse', 'Ink'), 'CRUISE' serves as a celebration of queer culture and a spoken word tribute to the veterans of the AIDs crisis.
After a critically acclaimed run at the Duchess Theatre in 2021, 'CRUISE' returns to the West End at the Apollo Theatre for a 3-week run. The show was nominated for Best New Play at the 2022 Olivier Awards.
But [Cruise] is a remarkable tour-de-force, directed with inventive control by Bronagh Lagan, and powered by Holden's passionate, loving performance which conjures and celebrates all these lost men.
A paean to a sybaritic Soho of a vanished era, Cruise namechecks the bars and, well, cruising locales of an earlier era, while the music encompasses Gloria Gaynor and Patsy Cline and many others besides.
Elliott’s soundtrack drives the play but it’s the richness of Holden’s narrative that grabs our attention. His story, like the music, is familiar but told with remarkable freshness and flair.