Set in and around various locations across Sydney, during 1987, the play follows eight people through three years of their lives, with the prologue and epilogue taking place in 2003. This incredible Australian play first premiered in 1993 and now returns to the stage as one of the boldest and most innovative productions yet.
Each character is on a different journey and they eventually become interlinked through a crisis. This heartfelt production is a story about homosexuality, self-growth and self-realisation, and acceptance.
Francis / Angel Francis (Sebbie Thorton Walker) is a funny, lovable controversial gay schoolboy. He falls in love with his teacher Joseph (Samuel Welsh), and later becomes an incredible grand drag artist. Andrew (Ben Jackson) is a likeable yet quietly rebellious young man who eventually meets Francis, and they fall for each other. Alcoholic, petulant and 'very Catholic' Maxine (Norah George) is the mother of mysterious Martin / Angel Martin (Tom Kelly), who is gay and then sadly dies from AIDS. His sister Beck (Maddison Silva) is a lesbian dating an aspiring actress Jen (Julia Muncs). While Mick (also played by Tom Kelly) is a cheeky, funny, and 'straightish' Queenslander, who moves to Sydney and showcases the perspective on the lack of knowledge that the 'average' Australian has about the queer community the AIDS crisis at the time.
The play starts with angels, Martin and Francis, observing and commenting on their grieving family, friends, and lovers. Then we are taken on a journey where we see glimpses in each characters life (including Martin's and Francis's before they passed on) and how they are all affected by the AIDS epidemic.
Each character's life is interwoven: Francis navigates being openly queer and the struggles he faces with his crush on his closeted teacher, Joseph, who is tortured by his sexuality and duty of being a teacher. Maxine tries to reconcile her faith with having two queer children and not losing her son to AIDS, Andrew coming to terms with being HIV positive, and Mick, who thinks he might have "it", to Beck knowing she will lose her brother to AIDS.
It was a stellar performance, with each cast member executing their role(s) with perfection, rawness and brilliance. It was captivating watching each cast member get into character with such ease and transforming the stage into a masterpiece of superb performing.
The performance was also heartbreaking, emotional, and intimate; it was filled with humour and sudden bursts of tragedy. It also showcased how a group of friends form a community and find ways to cope with the epidemic crisis, AIDS. It was a profoundly moving performance and a must-see!