CRUISE heads to Cape Town after rave reviews in Jozi
Johannesburg raved in December! Now it’s Cape Town’s turn to experience CRUISE!
As part of the first international staging outside of the United Kingdom, the Olivier Award nominated play, Cruise, written and originally performed by Jack Holden, heads to Cape Town to The Homecoming Centre (formerly The Fugard Theatre) in Cape Town from 12th – 30th April 2023.
Cruise is “an emotional roller-coaster without ever once losing its hold on your attention” – Evening Standard, UK
Cruise is the true story of what should have been Michael Spencer’s last night on earth.
When diagnosed with HIV in 1984 , Michael is told he will have four years left to live. So, with the clock ticking, he and his partner Dave decide to sell their house, flog the car and spend everything and party like it is the last days of the world.
This one-man play is an emotional rollercoaster at times and at others, an hilarious ode to gay culture in the 80’s and how AIDS changed the community forever. Its staging in South Africa is very appropriate, as 2022 marked the 40th anniversary of the arrival of the HIV /AIDS pandemic on the African continent.
Cruise opened in the West End of London in the thick of the Covid-19 Pandemic and was the first play to surface out of the pandemic. It ran for a month at The Duchess Theatre and due to popular demand and rave reviews, transferred to the Apollo Theatre in the West End, closing in September 2022.
This South African production of Cruise is directed by Josh Lindberg, with original music by John Patrick Elliott, set design by Wilhelm Disbergen, lighting by Jane Gosnell, produced by Colin Law with funding grants from the NAC, Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, PESP and AfroAsia Philanthropy (Thailand) .
Cruise stars the inimitable Daniel Geddes in the re-staging of the Jack Holden original work.
Daniel Geddes stated excitedly; “Taking on a role of this scope and acclaim was super exciting and humbling. It was especially nerve-wracking stepping into Jack’s shoes as the original writer/performer. Can we do his piece justice?”
He continues; “The responses from the Joburg audiences in December were a resounding ‘Yes’. This Olivier nominated play is so important, and exceptionally beautiful. I can’t wait for Cape Town audiences to see Jack’s amazing work for the first time this April.”
Musings from Director – Josh Lindberg
“I was immediately attracted to Cruise as a powerful story of acceptance of otherness. I wanted to create a world where each individual story found home – and there are many. A space where each audience member’s personal story felt at home. This is what holding space requires, what so many stories and individuals, each one of us, simply should have, but sadly crave as absent. No one should feel that they are not enough or that their story is not acknowledged.
I always start with, ‘how can we move an audience’. When directing I watch our audience as much as the actor/s; it was an obvious privilege to share this story and our production with our audiences in our first run in Jozi. Their reactions were firmly rooted in a shared and remembered experience, one carrying so much pain, loss, discovery and joy (even with those who had not lived through those decades). The warm and generous reception we received moved me in a profound way.
This play sits perfectly relevant here in South Africa, within our current time. Now more than ever (somewhat sadly) our world still has so much further to travel in terms of acceptance of all. To ‘live every day like it is your last, in the present – This story can be related to individual stories and can find home with each of us.”
I am honoured at the fact we have the opportunity to share this production with a Cape Town audience (and beyond). I respect our team, each who joined my vision and contributed profoundly to what it has become. Light, set structures and sound become storytelling tools – architecture, lines and boxes that metaphorically hold each individual story – and then release them.
This is the kind of work that grows. Each time we played it, I learned more about it; each character, each story and the world the play embodies. Importantly, how this play still loves today.”
Jack Holden is delighted that the first international staging of Cruise is taking place in various cities in South Africa.
Cruise runs at The Avalon Theatre in The Homecoming Centre, Cape Town from Wednesday 12th – Sunday 30th April 2023.
Performances run from Wednesdays – Fridays at 19h30, Saturdays at 17h00 & 19h30 and Sundays at 14h30.
Tickets are R195 and bookings are via Quicket.
Groups of 20 or more people qualify for the Group Discount ticket price of R90 per ticket. Group bookings to be made by calling 071 345 7276.
The production runs for 90 minutes with no interval. No under 16s.
What the Critics Say:
“Joyful, painful and wholeheartedly life-grabbing, Cruise is an ode to the gay men who lived, loved and were lost during the Aids crisis” The Guardian, UK
“Simply Electric… Immense and influential”
“I suggest you rush to Quicket and see if you can get a seat to watch Cruise. I loved it. Daniel Geddes performs brilliantly”
Eusebius Mckaiser; Talk Radio 702
“….. This utterly beautiful text fulminating with rhythm and nuance is performed to perfection by Daniel Geddes”
“I’ve just rated CRUISE as the best theatre that I have seen all year (2022) because it traverses all the human emotions within a swift narrative that completely engages the audience.”
Edward Chamberlain-Bell; JoziStyle
“Geddes’s performance is the stuff of a master storyteller”
Ryan Enslin; Weekly Mail and Guardian
“Wow, what a show we saw last night. Cruise is just brilliant”
Sasha Martinengo; LM Radio