William M. Hoffman's As Is Will Be Revived at London's Finborough Theatre
By Mark Shenton
As Is, William M. Hoffman's 1985 drama set in the early days of the AIDS crisis in New York, will be revived at London's Finborough Theatre, beginning performances Aug. 6 prior to an official opening Aug. 8, for a run through Aug. 31.
Originally produced by Off-Broadway's Circle Repertory Company in 1985, the play subsequently transferred to Broadway's Lyceum Theatre, where it ran for 285 performances. The original production won a Drama Desk Award in 1986, an Obie, as well as Tony and Pulitzer nominations for Best Play. It was televised in 1986, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. It now receives its first London production since the 1987 U.K. premiere at the Half Moon Theatre.
Directed by Andrew Keates, it is produced by Arion Productions in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre. In the play, set in New York in 1985, Rich, "a young writer who is beginning to find success, is breaking up with his longtime lover, Saul, a professional photographer. However Rich's idyll with his new lover is short-lived when he learns that he has contracted the terrifying new disease AIDS and returns to Saul for sanctuary as he awaits its slow and awful progress."
The cast is led by Tom Colley as Rich (recently seen in the West End as Galileo in David Hare's The Judas Kiss), and David Poynor as Saul (seen as Lockwood in the National's production of The History Boys). Also in the cast are Jordan Bernarde, John Hastings, Tom Kay, Clare Kissane, Paul Standell and Anna Tierney.
Hoffman's other credits include the libretto to The Ghosts of Versailles (music by John Corigliano), which premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 1991 and played there again in 1996; a masque The Cows of Apollo, with composer Chris Theofanidis, seen at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and this year he completed the libretto for Morning Star for the Cincinnati Opera. Other works include "Chico de Jazzzz," "Cyberian Nights," "The Stench of Art" and an adaptation of Carlo Gozzi’s "Blue Monster" and "Cornbury: The Queen’s Governor." He is Professor of Theatre at Lehman College and is currently completing "Memoirs of an Ex-Boy."
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 847 1652 or visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk for more details.
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