Culture: Theatre

Beige Recommends: As Is at the Finborough Theatre

As Is

“Sometimes I’m so scared I go back on my resolutions: I drink too much, and I smoke a joint, and I find myself at the bars and clubs, where I stand around and watch. They remind me of accounts of Europe during the Black Plague: groping in the dark, dancing till you drop. The New Wave is the corpse look. I’m very frightened and I miss you. Say something, damn it.”

New York City, 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.

In a mosaic of brilliantly conceived short scenes, some profoundly moving, some brightly humorous, As Is captures the pathos of Rich’s relationship with friends and family, the cold impersonality of the doctors and nurses who care for him and the widely diverse aspects of New York’s gay community. A heartbreaking and unsparing examination of a deeply felt human relationship shattered by a mindless, destructive disease.

Blending humour, poignance and brilliant theatricality, As Is was a revolutionary and groundbreaking play of its time, and is still sadly urgently relevant as the number of gay and bisexual men being diagnosed with HIV in the UK reached an “all-time high” in 2011, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA). 

The first London production since the 1987 UK premiere of William M. Hoffman’s As Is will run at the Finborough Theatre for a four week limited season, directed by Andrew Keates.

Tuesday 6 August – Saturday 31 August 2013

Finborough Theatre
118 Finborough Road
SW10 9ED

Box Office 0844 847 1652

Book online at

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