Cruise at HOME

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Cruise at HOME
Image courtesy of Pamela Raith.

Cruise at HOME Manchester, Manchester 20 July — 12 August 2023 Tickets from £12.50 — Book now

Fresh from London’s West End and garnering an Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play, Jack Holden’s acclaimed production – Cruise – receives its regional premiere at HOME. Described as “stunning” and “wholeheartedly life-grabbing” by The Guardian, Cruise tells a joyous, moving and music-filled story set during the Aids crisis of the 1980s.

Written and performed by Jack Holden, Cruise is inspired by a true story Holden was told over the phone while volunteering for ‘Switchboard’, the LGBTQ+ listening and advice support line. Vivid and kaleidoscopic, set in 1980s Soho with an uplifting soundtrack, Cruise is a musical celebration of queer culture.

Cruise at HOME
Writer and and performer Jack Holden in Cruise. Image courtesy of Pamela Raith.

The narrative follows what should have been Michael Spencer’s last night on Earth. When Michael is diagnosed with HIV in 1984, he’s told he’ll have four years left to live – at most. With a death sentence looming over them, Michael and his partner, Dave, decide to put their house on the market, sell the car, spend everything they have and go out with a bang. But, when Dave dies two years later, Michael goes all in on his hedonistic ways – spending what little cash he has left, immersing himself in a world of drink and drugs.

Cruise at HOME
Image courtesy of Pamela Raith.

When 29 February 1988 arrives – the last night of his four-year countdown – Michael goes all in. Heading into Soho wearing his favourite jacket, he says his goodbyes to familiar faces and places, and says yes to everything and everyone. Then, with everything spent and tied up perfectly…Michael survives.

Energetic, feel-good and gut-wrenching, Cruise is a performative tribute to the veterans of the AIDs crisis. With an irresistible ‘80s soundtrack, documenting a story that needs to be told (with a feature film also currently in development), Cruise is a searingly honest, poetically written and beautifully performed one-hander. Don’t miss out.

Cruise at HOME Manchester, Manchester 20 July — 12 August 2023 Tickets from £12.50 Book now

What's on at HOME Manchester

Where to go near Cruise at HOME

Indian Tiffin Room, Manchester

Indian Tiffin Room is a restaurant specialising in Indian street food, with branches in Cheadle and Manchester. This is the information for the Manchester venue.

The Ritz Manchester live music venue
Music venue
The Ritz

The Ritz was originally a dance hall, built in 1928, has hosted The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and The Smiths and is still going strong as a gig venue now.

Event venue

Homeground is HOME’s brand new outdoor venue, providing an open-air space for theatre, food, film, music, comedy and more.

Café or Coffee Shop
Burgess Cafe Bar

Small but perfectly-formed café – which also serves as the in-house bookstore, stocking all manner of Burgess-related works, along with recordings of his music. It’s a welcoming space, with huge glass windows making for a bright, welcoming atmosphere.

Rain Bar pub in Manchester
City Centre
Bar or Pub
Rain Bar

This huge three-floor pub, formerly a Victorian warehouse, then an umbrella factory (hence the name), has one of the city centre’s largest beer gardens. The two-tier terrace overlooks the Rochdale canal and what used to be the back of the Hacienda, providing an unusual, historic view of the city.

Bar or Pub
The Briton’s Protection

Standing on the corner of a junction opposite The Bridgewater Hall, The Briton’s Protection is Manchester’s oldest pub. It has occupied the same spot since 1795, going under the equally patriotic name The Ancient Britain.

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