Schalchlin and Brochu's The Last Session To Receive U.K. Premiere at London's Tristan Bates Theatre
18 Jun 2012
Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu's 1997 Off-Broadway musical The Last Session is to receive its U.K. premiere at London's Tristan Bates Theatre, beginning performances Sept. 25, prior to an official opening Sept. 26, for a run through Oct. 27.
Partly based on its composer's own experiences, it is set in a recording studio in 1996 where singer/songwriter Gideon is tired of being ill and ready to give up. He's holding one last session to record the most important album of his life. To show his undying love to his partner, he plans to record a musical letter of farewell. For this last session, he reunites with some old friends and is joined by an unexpected visitor, who shares his Christian faith and for whom Gideon's sexuality changes everything.
Written in an era in when AIDS was a terrifying and growing epidemic for which the treatment was largely experimental, Schalchlin is also the author of the Landmark blog, "Living in The Bonus Round," started in 1996, which has become a living testament to his battle with AIDS. It began when he was severely ill and expecting to die, as a way of keeping friends and family updated and to record his final thoughts.
Schalchlin and Brochu also created The Big Voice: God or Merman? The London production is directed by Guy Retallack, whose previous credits include Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story, also seen at the Tristan Bates. It is produced by Climar Productions (which also produced Thrill Me), with casting by Anne Vosser, musical direction by Tom Turner and lighting by Richard Williamson.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.