David has been diagnosed with HIV and his life is changed irrevocably. While still trying to process the diagnosis himself, he is advised to involve his family and close friends as much as possible. Then one night he hooks up with Will and decides to be truthful about his status and so much more.
Fronting is Darren Hardie’s new play addressing the stigma still attached to young men with HIV. It’s a rather gauche piece of writing, possibly more suited in structure to a screenplay than a theatre piece.
This is compounded by the unusual conversational style adopted by Will and David on their first evening together. Fuelled by wine and hormones, they discuss sex and HIV issues as if they are in a government health information film. At one point, the talk goes off at a tangent to discuss Will’s religious beliefs and how they dovetail with his openly gay lifestyle.
The difficulty is that this piece says vitally important things, but Hardie struggles to make them naturalistic. There is a much bigger play here and, given time, it will hopefully develop dramatically. While Conor O’Donnelly as David and Calum Ross as Will appear to have a good chemistry, it’s evident they have little stagecraft experience.