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Her Majesty's Theatre

Haymarket

London

SW1Y 4QL

United Kingdom

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Let's talk about HIV and AIDS in the performing arts…

On Tuesday 19th November 2019, Her Majesty's Theatre will host Gloves Off - an afternoon of discussion surrounding the past, present and future of HIV/AIDS and its impact on the performing arts industry, hosted in drag by Wallis Depres and including special guests Andrew Keates, Susan Cole-Haley and Matthew Todd.

As an industry that was disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, maybe it’s time that we – as a collective – started to talk about how our friends, family and colleagues have been (and continue to be) touched by it. Gloves Off is an opportunity for us to remember that period of time, utilise our eloquence as performers to help end the stigma that still surrounds those affected by HIV and play our part in helping to end new infections.

Guest speakers include:
Andrew Keates: a multi-award winning Theatre Director who discovered he was HIV+ after directing a revival of the first AIDS play As Is by William M. Hoffman. He would go on to come-out of the viral closet on-stage in front of thousands at an industry event at the Dominion Theatre under the statue of the late, great Freddie Mercury. Andrew has appeared all over the UK and in the British media speaking about living with HIV today, and when not directing, is a prolific HIV+ activist, Artistic Director of Arion Productions and host of The Show People Podcast. In 2018 he was awarded the Young Achiever of the Year Award from the Vice Chancellor of the University of Surrey for his work in supporting BAME artists and raising awareness about HIV in the performing arts. His recent work as a director includes Dark Sublime, As Is and Dessa Rose (Trafalgar Studios) and Chinglish (Park Theatre).

Susan Cole-Haley: Mother of four and ex wife of three, Susan is an HIV activist, advocate and international speaker, battling misinformation about HIV for almost twenty years. She’s appeared naked at seven months pregnant on the cover of Positive Nation magazine, where she was a regular columnist and features writer, to highlight the reproductive rights of women with HIV. She’s particularly passionate about issues affecting people from BAME communities and women with HIV, with her articles appearing in The F-Word and Writers of Colour. She is a trustee of the Women’s HIV charity The Sophia Forum and on the steering committee of Positively Women, Positively UK’s women’s Project. Susan works for NAM aidsmap, the HIV information charity, where she leads on community engagement. She’s the host of aidsmapLIVE, NAM’s the popular panel discussion series on HIV, filmed in a studio in London but watched by people affected by HIV around the globe.

Matthew Todd: Matthew Todd is a multi award winning writer and sometime performer, and former editor of the UK’s best-selling gay magazine, Attitude, where he was responsible for Prince William’s first gay press appearance. He regularly writes for and appears in the British media and has presented two films for BBC Newsnight. His first play, Blowing Whistles, has been produced in the UK, Australia and the US. His book, Straight Jacket, about LGBT mental health, was voted Best LGBT Book 2017 by Boyz readers and has been described as ‘utterly brilliant’ by Owen Jones in The Guardian, as ‘life saving’ and ‘game changing’ by readers and as ‘an essential read for every gay person on the planet’ by Sir Elton John. His second book Pride: The Story of the LGBTQ Equality movement was published in 2019. He is the winner of 3 Editor of the Year Awards from the British Society of Magazine Editors, a Stonewall Journalist of the Year award and was given the Freedom of the City of London for services to the LGBT community.

Gloves Off is a conversation about HIV in the arts - where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. Let’s chat. The talk will begin at 2pm and last for approximately two hours with an interval.

This event is generously supported by Arion Productions and LW Theatres. A bucket collection will take place after the discussion raising funds for the Terrence Higgins Trust, Elton John AIDS Foundation, 56 Dean St and the NAM aidsmap.

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Her Majesty's Theatre

Haymarket

London

SW1Y 4QL

United Kingdom

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