It’s the 1980’s in an unknown American city.
There is no internet and mobile phones are a
rarity, sharing information and knowledge is
near impossible. It’s dark, and
communication is hard. A poster appears at a
local store, it’s a photo of a person’s
torso with lesions all over. It’s an unknown
condition that spreads quickly.
This was how people became aware of an unknown virus which ended up quietly and quickly killing vast amounts of people in the gay community, including Jody and Carl’s friends. The medical world barely knows what it is and how it gets passed around, let alone the people themselves. The only moment you understand you’ve contracted this disease is when it’s just too late.
Within a climate of social stigma, isolation and governmental neglect how would you react if you thought you might have a life threatening disease? Would you want to know, or would you prefer to stay oblivious and isolate yourself? Would you feel comfortable walking down the same streets you once knew like the back of your hand but now only remind you of friends who are sick or passed away?
Lonely planet is a heartfelt, funny and ultimately moving play that focuses on the friendship between Jody, a cautious and thoughtful man who insulates himself in the map store he owns; and Carl, a frequent visitor to the store with an unusually vivid imagination and multiple, ever-changing occupations. Carl notices Jody has been isolating himself from the world and starts bringing chairs into his shop to convince him to confront the fears which prevent him from leaving his store. The play shows an individual’s struggle to come to terms with illness, their own mortality and the stigma associated with AIDS.
About Lonely Planet:
’A beautiful play exploring friendship during the AIDS crisis’
‘In the canon of AIDS plays, this one sits up there in grand gesture next to Angels in America’s suspension wires’ - Theatre Is Easy (NY)
"This compassionate play reveals friendship and fear in the age of AIDS. Dietz owns all the tools of a crackerjack writer." —New York Newsday.
"Mr. Dietz is a graceful writer, able to set up and work out his conceits with intelligent precision. And there is no ignoring the honest and troubled emotional core at the play's Center."--
The New York Times
CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST
*Director - Ian Brown, previous artistic director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds as well as the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh.
*Designer - Nik Corrall, Freelancing designer who has recently been nominated for two OffWestEnd Nominations.
*Lighting Designer - Will Scarnell, a senior stage management tutor at LAMDA and freelancing lighting designer.
*Sound Designer - Peter West, who is currently touring with “The Commitments” around the UK.
*Stage Manager - Rachel Graham, recently graduated from Rose Bruford College with a 1st Class BA (Hons) Stage Management degree.
*Jody will be played by Alex McMorran, who is currently touring with “The Commitments” as Joey.
*Carl will be played by Aaron Vodovoz, recently filmed a new BBC crime drama McMafia.