Ending his extensive UK tour at Manchester’s newly-refurbished Contact Theatre, Nathaniel Hall’s autobiographical solo show First Time runs November 30-December 4.
The play relates Hall's experiences of living with HIV since he was 16 – he was diagnosed two weeks before his 17th birthday and not long after his first sexual experience. Hall kept his condition a secret from his family for nearly 15 years until, in 2017 aged 31, he had a breakdown, came out as HIV positive and created this play with the award-winning, Manchester-based Dibby Theatre. To mark the 30th World AIDS Day there’s a special gala performance on December 1.
First Time has since toured the UK and has been seen by over 3,500 people, including runs at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe and the 2020 VAULT Festival in London – winning multiple awards and receiving audience and critical acclaim along the way.
Nathaniel’s activism in HIV continues after the curtain comes down through his community-led creative outreach project, Equal Parts, which has engaged over 60,000 people. His story has been seen by millions in broadcast media and print.
Hall was also one of the breakout stars of Russell T Davies’ recent Channel 4 and HBO series about HIV It’s A Sin. As Donald Basset, he was notable for being the only openly HIV-positive member of the show’s cast.
Nathaniel says of First Time: “I lived in secrecy for nearly 15 years, but denying my HIV status publicly only helped to feed the narrative that HIV is something to be ashamed of.
"First Time marked a very public coming out, and the show has taken me on a journey to places I never expected. I have been blown away by the public reaction and feel humbled and honoured to be inspiring others.
“HIV has changed, but public knowledge lags far behind. Working alongside our charity partners, the Dibby team and I are determined to end HIV stigma and shame for good – as well as contribute to the goal of ending all new transmissions of the virus by 2030.”