No, Jack Holden's play is not about Tom, though the film star does get referenced along the way. In fact, Cruise is a vigorously acted history lesson that doubles as a vital performance opportunity for the author, a 30-year-old actor (his credits include War Horse and Ink) who doubles as its lone performer. Joined by an arresting DJ in John Elliott who is on hand to spin a synth-heavy score that keeps the beat with the unfolding tale of woe but also resilience, Holden has landed pride of place...
1988. Soho. His last night on earth.
The intoxicating, vibrant CRUISE is the true story of what should have been Michael Spencer's last night on earth, performing live for a strictly limited season at the Duchess Theatre from 18 May to 13 June. Following the phenomenal success of Channel4's It's a Sin, CRUISE is a celebration of life, queer culture and survival - this is the uplifting and inspirational theatrical event of summer 2021.
When he's diagnosed with HIV in 1984, Michael is told he'll have four years to live - at most. So, with the clock ticking, he and his partner Dave decide to sell their house, flog the car, and spend everything they have to party like it's the last days of Rome. When Dave dies two years later, Michael doubles down on his hedonistic ways, spending what little he has on drink and drugs.
On the last night of his four year countdown - the 29th February, 1988 - Michael decides to go out with a bang. He puts on his favourite jacket, heads for Soho, and embarks on a long night of farewells. He says his goodbyes, dances, sings, and says yes to everything and everyone. Then, with all his affairs taken care of, Michael promptly... survives.
Michael got lucky. He's been given the gift of life; but what kind of life can he now live?
Written and performed by Jack Holden (War Horse, West End; Ink, Almeida Theatre) CRUISE is a celebration of queer culture; a kaleidoscopic musical and spoken word tribute to the veterans of the AIDs crisis; an urgent piece of theatre, with an irresistible 80s soundtrack, which will make you laugh, make you cry, and which inspires us all to live every day as if it's our last.
Directed by Bronagh Lagan and featuring an uplifting electronic soundtrack performed live by John Elliott.
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Cast and creative
By: Jack Holden
Songs by: John Elliott
Director: Bronagh Logan
Cast list: Jack Holden
Latest Cruise News & Features
Following the streaming premiere of Jack Holden's Cruise, the one-man play will transfer for in-person performances in May. Cruise will run at the Duchess Theatre from 18 May - 13 June, opening on the second day that theatres can open as said in the Government roadmap. Diagnosed with HIV in 1984, Michael is given four years to live. Making the most of those years, his hedonistic lifestyle takes over. On the final night of his four year countdown, 29 Feb. 1988, Michael wants to go out in style,...
Inspired by the true stories of Michael Spencer, Jack Holden's Cruise will receive its virtual debut this spring. Combining music, spoken word and theatre, Cruise will explore queer culture in 1980s Britain, available to stream from 15 - 25 April.Diagnosed with HIV in 1984, Michael is given four years to live. Making the most of those years, his hedonistic lifestyle takes over. On the final night, Michael wants to go out in style, but then... he survives. Given more years to live, Michael...