Tickets and more information: https://www.londontheatredirect.com/play/3141/lonely-planet-tickets.aspx
Running until: 7th July 2018
Production photos by: Richard Hubert Smith
Set in an American town in the mid 1980’s, Steven Dietz’s Lonely Planet follows the friendship between two gay men at the height of the Aids crisis. The play takes place in the map store owned by Jody (played by Alexander McMorran), who has a more sensitive and quiet thinking personality out of the pair compared to his regular customer Carl (played by Aaron Vodovoz) who is more outlandish, with his various pretend job titles and unfazed manner of speaking.
Compared to other plays around a similar topic such as Tony Kushner’s Angels In America or Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, this play is a slow burn. Steven Dietz’s writing is a lot more nuanced, but this makes the piece stand out. Over the course of the two hour run time, the resonance of the world inside this map store becomes clearer just as Jody’s anxiety begins to build up. When Jody realises he has to be tested, the hesitation in leaving this, somewhat of a, quarantine allows the friendship to flourish as both characters settle into their dependance on each other.
I pleasantly enjoyed director Ian Brown’s production of Lonely Planet and I’m glad I got to catch it after an acclaimed run at the Tabard Theatre. Both actors were a joy to watch and had wonderful chemistry with each other. David Allen’s set design in the intimate Studio 2 brought Jody’s map store alive. This production has been sponsored by Pasante Healthcare and INSTI HIV self test kits which are given out at the end of the show. In addition to this, at the end of the performance the cast highlighted the importance work of the Terrence Higgins Trust, which has done and continues to do incredible work for those with HIV. Lonely Planet is also produced in collaboration with Pride In London, as the run ends on the day of London Pride, a perfect time to catch this play.
Until next time,