Home > Latest News > Acclaimed autobiographical play on living with HIV makes its London Debut at VAULT Festival January 2020

Acclaimed autobiographical play on living with HIV makes its London Debut at VAULT Festival January 2020


Fresh from its critically acclaimed 2019 Edinburgh Fringe run –  garnering a host of 4 and 5 star national and regional reviews – the award-winning theatre-maker and HIV activist Nathaniel Hall, together with Dibby Theatre and Waterside Arts bring his autobiographical  one man show First Time to London’s VAULT Festival from Tuesday 28 January to Sunday 2 February 2020 followed by its first UK tour.

Winner of the Venues North Edinburgh Fringe Award 2019

Winner of the Summerhall Venue Award Edinburgh Fringe 2019

One of The Guardian and The Stage’s Top Shows Edinburgh Fringe 2019

‘A truly remarkable story of triumph, told with humour, guts and tons of charm… I was in awe.’

Russell T Davies

Do you remember your first time? Nathaniel does… and he can’t seem to forget it. To be fair, he has had it playing on repeat for 15 years. But now the party is over, the balloons have all burst and he’s left living his best queer life: brunching on pills and distracting himself with daytime TV, procrastination and google.

Exploring the ups and downs of living with HIV through a series of personal letters, confessions, poems and a drag alter-ego called Sue, First Time is Nathaniel Hall’s  ‘hilarious and heartbreaking’ autobiographical solo show about growing up gay and HIV+ in a straight and HIV- world.

After coming out of the HIV + closet in late 2017, theatre-maker and HIV activist, Nathaniel, has created this gut wrenchingly honest and equally hilarious show about living with his life-changing secret. Diagnosed two weeks before his 17th birthday, and just months after coming out as gay to his family, Nathaniel kept his HIV status from almost everybody closest to him for over 14 years.

Nathaniel is now advocating for better contemporary representations of HIV in popular culture, using First Time as a vehicle for his activism and empowering other people to live openly with their HIV status.

Manchester born and bred, Nathaniel acts, writes, directs, inspires and produces bold and provocative socially minded work. In 2020 he will also appear in Russell T Davies’ brand new Channel 4 drama, Boys, about AIDS in1980s Britain.

 On creating First Time he says:

‘I lived in secret, fear and self-loathing for 14 years but denying my HIV status only helped to feed the narrative that living with it is something to be shameful of. First Time marks a very public coming out as HIV+ through which I hope to inspire other people living with the virus to live more openly and break the cycle of stigma and shame.’

First Time is directed by Chris Hoyle and designed by Irene Jade.

First Time runs at VAULT Festival from Tuesday 28 January to Sunday 2 February 2020 (including matinee on 1 Feb) in the VAULT Studio Theatre, Leake Street, London before embarking on a four week national tour.