By William M. Hoffman
Produced at the Trafalgar Studios, London, 2015
New York City, 1985. Rich (Steven Webb), a young writer who is beginning to find success, is breaking up with his longtime lover, Saul (David Poynor), a professional photographer. However, Rich's idyll with his new lover is short-lived when he learns that he has contracted the terrifying new disease AIDS and he returns to Saul for sanctuary as he awaits its slow and awful progress.
In a mosaic of brilliantly conceived short scenes, some profoundly moving, some brightly humorous, AS IS captures the pathos of Rich’s relationship with friends and family, the cold impersonality of the doctors and nurses who care for him and the widely diverse aspects of New York’s gay community. A heartbreaking and unsparing examination of a deeply felt human relationship shattered by a mindless, destructive disease.
'Defiant where it could be self-pitying, raucous where it could be worthy: ‘As Is’ never blanches from the pain and suffering of Aids, but it also refuses to erase the joys of being alive and being in love.'
'Hoffman isn’t interested in saints. Here bravery is as much about the struggle with yourself. And that’s what endures.'
'...Matthew Strachan’s warm, touching score that is gentle and emotionally fused, managed to keep the powerful dialogues between the characters flowing with perfect timing.'
The New Current
'...a feast of irreverent comedy, generating more laugh-out-loud moments than it is reasonable to hope for in 70 minutes of theatre.'
The Public Reviews
Directed by Andrew Keates
Design by Tim McQuillen-Wright
Lighting by Neil Brinkworth
Costumes by Phillipa Batt
Sound design by James Nicholson
Photography by Scott Rylander