CONFESSIONS, letters, poems and a drag queen alter-ego called Sue make up a multi-award winning autobiographical one man show coming to Bradford.

After its critically acclaimed 2019 Edinburgh Fringe run - garnering a host of four and five star national and regional reviews - First Time is bound to captivate audiences with its entertaining mix of humour and heartbreak.

Award-wining theatre-maker and HIV activist Nathaniel Hall recounts his experiences of growing up gay and HIV positive.

After coming out of the HIV positive closet in late 2017, Nathaniel, has created a gut- wrenchingly honest and equally hilarious show about living with his life-changing secret.

Diagnosed two weeks before his 17th birthday, and just months after coming out as gay to his family, he kept his HIV status from almost everybody closest to him for over 14 years.

‘Do you remember your first time? Nathaniel does... and he can’t seem to forget it,’ his preview publicity states. ‘To be fair, he has had it playing on repeat for 15 years. But now the party is over, the balloons have all burst and he’s left living his best queer life: brunching on pills and distracting himself with daytime TV, procrastination and google.’

In his show the performer, who was born and raised in Manchester, explores the ups and downs of living with HIV

Nathaniel acts, writes, directs, inspires and produces bold and provocative socially minded work. In 2020 he will also appear in Russell T Davies’ brand new Channel 4 drama, Boys, about AIDS in 1980s Britain.

He advocates for better contemporary representations of HIV in popular culture, using First Time as a vehicle for his activism and empowering other people to live openly with their HIV status.

On creating First Time he says: “I lived in secret, fear and self-loathing for 14 years but denying my HIV status only helped to feed the narrative that living with it is something to be shameful of.

“First Time marks a very public coming out as HIV positive through which I hope to inspire other people living with the virus to live more openly and break the cycle of stigma and shame.”

Directed by Chris Hoyle and designed by Irene Jade, the production is created in collaboration with Manchester-based Dibby Theatre, a theatrical production company founded by Chris Hoyle and Nathaniel Hall, and Waterside Arts, a vibrant arts venue in Sale, Trafford.

Dibby Theatre develop and champion new writing about urgent and untold stories.

The Bradford performance is part of a four week national tour which began in January at London’s popular VAULT Festival, reknowned for presenting innovative and daring work.

The show is part of a festival of LGBTQ+ works curated by Theatre in the Mill and New Queers on the Block.

“It’s Valentine’s Day too and we can’t wait to get all loved up with queer love, art and activism,” adds Nathaniel.

With key public health messages about HIV being promoted through the show and associated talks and workshop activities, the First Time team use theatre as a vehicle to educate, destigmatise and empower.

They hope their messages will to contribute to the UNAIDS aim of ending all new HIV transmission by 2030.

While touring the UK the team is proud to be partnered with the North West’s leading HIV support charity George House Trust. While in London they also supported the HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust.

First Time is coming to Theatre in the Mill, University of Bradford, Shearbridge Road, on Friday February 14 at 9.30pm and Saturday February 15 at 6pm.

For tickets visit

Helen Mead