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'Cruise' To Receive Premiere In The West End This May

The world premiere of brand new play Cruise will open in the West End for a limited run in May.

Cruise will play a limited season at the Duchess Theatre from May 18th until June 13th 2021. Written by Jack Holden who also stars in the piece, it is an urgent, moving and inspirational new play with live music and spoken word.

The show is produced by Aria Entertainment and Lambert Jackson Productions - Cruise will mark the West End debuts for both of them - a deserving accomplishment considering how prolific and fantastic they have been through the last 12 months.

Based on a true story that was told to Jack whilst he was volunteering for Switchboard, the LGBTQ+ Listening Service, this new play pays tribute to a generation decimated by HIV and AIDs in this celebration of queer culture.

Nica Burns of NIMAX Theatres said:

“Hard as it is to find anything to celebrate in the theatre in this incredibly difficult pandemic year, being able to invite a talented new team of theatre makers to reopen the Duchess theatre is a delight. A warm welcome to producers Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment, Jamie Lambert and Eliza Jackson of Lambert Jackson and their playwright Jack Holden, all making West End debuts. For four weeks only, prior to the reopening of the popular comedy The Play That Goes Wrong, so book now!”

Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment said:

“It is an absolute honour to have the opportunity to present this play, not only on a West End stage, but as we are coming out of what has been one of the most difficult and challenging years for all. It is a brave and innovative show which brings us into a world and part of history which we may not be so familiar with. A story which we should hear about; one of survival, loss, re-building a life and looking forward to the future. All on top of the most uplifting and brilliant soundtrack. After receiving the script during lockdown, I couldn’t have imagined that we’d be presenting it as our first West End play the following year. I am so looking forward to sharing it with a live audience.”

Lambert Jackson said:

“For our first West End run, we are so excited to be bringing this innovative, new and important piece of theatre to reopen the Duchess Theatre. From the moment we read the script, we knew we had to be involved. This has been a very uncertain time for theatre in the UK, and it feels right to be producing a brilliant new play by a British writer to bring important, queer British stories to audiences at this time.”

The full creative team includes Jack Holden (writer and performer), John Elliott (Music and Sound Design), Bronagh Lagan (Director), Nik Corrall (Design), STUFISH (Co-Design), Jai Morjaria (Lighting Designer) Sarah Golding (Movement) and Max Pappenheim (Additional Sound Design).

Cruise is the true story of what should have been Michael Spencer’s last night on Earth.

When Michael is diagnosed with HIV in 1984, he’s told he’ll have four years to live - at most. So, with the clock ticking, he and his partner, Dave, decide to sell their house, flog the car, spend everything they have and party like it’s the last days of Rome. When Dave dies two years later, Michael doubles down on his hedonistic ways, spending what little he has left and drowning himself in drink and drugs.

On the last night of his four-year countdown - the 29th February, 1988 - Michael decides to go out with a bang. He puts on his favourite jacket, heads for Soho, and embarks on a long night of farewells. He says his goodbyes to friends, enemies and strangers; old haunts, dive bars, cafes, clubs and pubs; his brothers, sisters, allies and exes. He dances, sings, and says yes to everything and everyone. Then, with all his affairs taken care of, Michael promptly... survives. Michael got lucky, and he goes on to live to a ripe old age. Michael has been given the gift of life; but what kind of life can he now live?

Tickets are available from

The show was previously announced as a filmed production which is still due to be streamed on from April 15th-25th.

Check out the trailer below:



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