World Premiere of Cruise: A One Man Play by Jack Holden

Alex Klineberg March 13, 2021


Written and performed by Jack Holden (War Horse, West End; Ink, Almeida Theatre), CRUISE is a new play paying tribute to those who lived through the AIDS crisis. Hot on the heels of It’s A Sin, it’s a timely production. Directed by Bronagh Lagan and filmed at Shoreditch Town Hall, the play features live 80s pop performed by John Elliott. You can watch the performance online from 15 April – 25 April at Stream.Theatre with tickets at £12.

Jack Holden said:

“CRUISE is based on a true story I was told while I was a volunteer for Switchboard, the LGBTQ+ Listening Service. I was in a weird, unstable, self-destructive part of my early 20s. This story, among others, taught me my gay history, put my life into perspective, and helped me to grow up. The names and a lot of the events have been changed, and a hell of a lot of material has been imagined. This play is a tribute to a generation decimated by HIV and AIDs, a memorial for the old days of Soho, a celebration of electronic music, and an excuse to dance.”


Katy Lipson said: “When you discover a script like Jack Holden’s CRUISE during a time when our beloved sector is closed it reminds you why it must re-open again. Making the decision to film CRUISE is just another way of adapting and ensuring this important story has a chance to reach audiences in a new and innovative form before we can bring it to the stage later this year for a live audience.”

~ February 29th, 1988. Soho, London. ~

CRUISE tells the story of Michael Spencer’s last night on Earth. Diagnosed with HIV in 1984, he’s told he’ll have four years to live – at most.  Along with his partner, he sells his house and parties like there’s no tomorrow, assuming there isn’t one. His partner dies two years later and he continues to spend and party.

On the last night of his four-year countdown – the 29th February, 1988 – Michael decides to go out with a bang. He says goodbye to everyone and continues to party. Having consumed a vast amount fo drugs and spent all his money Michael promptly… survives. Michael got lucky, but what kind of life will he live now, assuming it was over and finding himself broke? It’s a fantastic dramatic setup with endless potential. We’ll definitely be tuning in.

Available to book and watch online here:
15 – 25 April 2021
Tickets £12 plus booking fee


Thurs 15th April 7:30pm
Fri 16th 7:30pm
Sat 17th 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Sun 18th 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Mon 19th 7:30pm
Tues 20th 7:30pm
Weds 21st 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Thurs 22nd 7:30pm
Fri 23rd 7:30pm
Sat 24th 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Sun 25th April 2:30pm & 7:30pm