News: Outlander’s John Bell takes to the stage for the first time in The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me

Making his exciting stage debut Outlander’s John Bell (Outlander, The Hobbit, Wrath of the Titans) has been cast in multi award-winning Off-Broadway hit The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me by David Drake.

After attending a performance of Larry Kramer’s play The Normal Heart, a young man’s life is changed forever thanks to the power of theatre. This heart-warming, coming of age story follows the life of a young actor – his call to gay pride and activism in New York during the onset of HIV/AIDS in the 80s.

Broken up into a series of stories, Drake abstractly documents a gay man’s journey of self-discovery. From the late-night club crawl to the buff-bunny gyms, from the threat of anti-gay violence to the place where condemnation, compromises and closets are a thing of the past, The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me exposes the sexual, spiritual, and political yearnings at the heart of gay America shared by a whole generation of gay men and women.

David Drake said: “I am so honoured that the producers have been so diligent about producing the first revival of my play in London since I premiered it there at the Kings Head Pub in 1994. And I am absolutely thrilled that the extraordinary young actor John Bell will be bringing these words and stories to life. The landscape for queer people has changed and improved immeasurably since I created The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me as an extension of my AIDS and gay rights activisim 30 years ago. But as Larry himself reminded us many times, we must continue to tell, understand, and ultimately value our stories so that the tragedy of this history does not repeat itself. Indeed, to quote the poem by Auden from which Larry claimed the title for The Normal Heart, “We must love one another or die.”

This new production brings together the producers behind recent award-winning productions such as Martin Sherman’s Rose staring Dame Maureen Lipman (now showing on Sky Arts and Broadway HD) and West End Director Steven Dexter (Beautiful Thing, the Olivier Nominated musical Loserville, Pet Shop Boys Musical Hit Closer to Heaven and the recent critically acclaimed reimagining of Pippin). Dexter comments, says It’s a touching and funny play that remind us all how important theatre is, especially after the tough few years our industry has had.

The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me premiered at New York’s Perry Street Theater, and played for a full year off-Broadway, making it one of the longest running solo shows in New York. David Drake won several awards for his writing and performance of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me, including an Obie Award for performance in 1993, and two Dramalogue Awards in the same year. He was also nominated for a Lambda Literary Award the following year.

The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me runs at the Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre from Thursday 3 – Saturday 26 February 2022.

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