Deena Payne (Viv Windsor in Emmerdale, Calendar Girls) and CJ de Mooi (Eggheads, Geek – The Musical) will star in two short plays, the UK premieres of On Tidy Endings and Safe Sex, from Tony Award-winning Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy).
Whose loss is it anyway? That’s the bone of contention between a gay man and a straight woman who meet to tie up loose ends following the death of the man they both loved. The UK premiere of Fierstein’s vivid one-act, On Tidy Endings, is a fiercely funny and poignant study of how losing a loved one takes on unique new qualities when AIDS is involved. Unusually, it is a play where we never meet any AIDS sufferers; instead, it looks at the consequences and the peoplethisvirusleavesbehind. OnTidyEndingswillbeprecededbythetitleplayfrom Fierstein’s Safe Sex Trilogy, which explores a relationship under strain in the early part of the AIDS crisis and of desire unfulfilled out of fear.
The Safe Sex trilogy was Fierstein’s own response to living in the time of AIDS, dealing with his own confusion, anger and frustration. Yet he still retains his trademark humour in his writing, ‘Look, if I’m gonna bum ya out, I’m gonna make sure ya have a couple a laughs too! Life is funny – and the truer and more painful it is, the funnier it is.’ Lesser-known than some of Fierstein’s other plays, there can be no denying the importance of this trilogy. Here, his poetic writing elucidates how the advent of AIDS forever changed homosexual relationships.
Director, Dan Philips comments, ‘What makes this different from all the other ‘AIDS Plays’ is that it is not in fact about AIDS. Both plays instead look at who it leaves behind and is, at its heart, a play about dealing with loss whether you are gay or straight. Fierstein has become an institution in the world of the Broadway Musical but I am honoured to be able to explore his more intimate and semi-autobiographical work.’
The production will be in support of The Make A Difference Trust. The MAD Trust raises funds from the British Entertainment community and its audiences to support people living with HIV and AIDS and those in the entertainment industry facing hardship as a result of any long-term medical condition.