Tuesday, 18 January 2022 09:35

Ups and downs of life with HIV, First Time plays Poole Lighthouse

Exploring the ups and downs of life with HIV, First Time is the hilarious and heartbreaking autobiographical solo show of It’s A Sin star Nathanial Hall and plays Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, on Saturday 5 February, immediately before opening a five-night London run. 

Diagnosed as HIV+ two weeks before his 17th birthday and after his first ever sexual experience, acclaimed actor, writer, and HIV activist Nathaniel kept this a secret from his family for nearly 15 years. In 2017 aged 31, he had a breakdown, came out to his family as HIV+, and created his gut wrenchingly honest and equally hilarious play with the award-winning Dibby Theatre. 

Since its world premiere on World AIDS Day in 2017, First Time has toured the UK extensively to audience and critical acclaim, winning multiple awards along the way.  

Nathaniel was one of the breakout stars of the 2021 Channel 4 and HBO hit series It’s A Sin, written by Russell T Davies. Playing the role of Donald Basset, Nathaniel was notable as the only openly HIV+ member of the cast. 

Nathaniel’s activism in HIV continues long after the curtain comes down through his community-led creative outreach project In Equal Parts which has engaged over 60,000 people. His story has been seen by millions in print and broadcast, most recently on Good Morning Britain on World AIDS Day 2021. 

“I lived in secrecy about my HIV diagnosis for 15 years,” says Nathanial, “but this only helped to feed the narrative that HIV is something to be ashamed of. Marking a very public coming out as HIV+, First Time has taken me on a journey to places I never expected. I’m humbled by the public reaction to my story and feel honoured to be inspiring others to smash through HIV stigma and shame. 

“HIV has changed, but public knowledge lags behind. Working closely with our charity partners, myself and the Dibby team are determined to end HIV stigma and shame for good, as well as contribute to the goal of ending all new transmissions of the virus by 2030.” 

Described as a ‘rollercoaster of emotions’, First Time is a funny and fearless celebration of life and humanity that smashes through the stigma and shame of HIV. Nathaniel and Dibby Theatre are immensely proud of the show and its associated creative outreach projects that continue to educate, de-stigmatise and empower people to live boldly and with pride. 

First Time is directed by Chris Hoyle and designed by Irene Jade. First Time is supported by Arts Council England and was originally commissioned by Waterside Arts. 

Dibby Theatre Productions present 

Saturday 5 February 2022  
8pm (Sherling Studio) 

Tickets & information 01202 280000