The 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival is getting underway with many companies already in previews and this coming weekend all the venues throw open the doors and let the world see the melting pot of productions on offer.
Some of the most emotional, honest and truthful productions come from real life, the knocks, the laughter, the tears that cascade our memories on life’s journey. This is never truer for Nathaniel J Hall, who brings his acclaimed one man show “First Time”. Telling Nathaniel’s life story of his first sexual encounter that left him HIV positive in an HIV negative world, this is journey of acceptance, overcoming stigma to discover who and what we really are.
SGfringe.com was able to sit down for five minutes with Nathanial for chat about “First Time” and the fringe!
SGFringe: This is your story and your life, a hugely personal journey, why share it with Edinburgh?
NJH: I think it’s a really important story for people to hear about, HIV health care has come on leaps and bounds but the stigma that comes with a positive diagnosis still has to be tackled, so its important to use this show as a vehicle to get the message across of modern medication treatments l and that its vital to know your HIV status regardless of whether your indulging in risky sex. My life is also funny, and I’ve injected that humour into the production. We are also working with various charities and allies to develop getting the message out of self-acceptance and hopefully we make things better for future generations.
SGFringe.com: Do you think the HIV awareness debate has fallen off the public agenda?
NJH: To a certain extent, it’s a really tough one, I live in a little bubble as an HIV activist, but I’m hoping we can reach out with the show beyond the LGBTQI+ community to those in smaller communities, I hope that the production will show that advancement in PREP alongside greater medication is making the difference but the root must always being knowing your status that’s the key to halting all transmissions. We plan to tour the production in the Autumn of 2019 ahead of a full national tour in 2020 which will hopefully expand the profile of the show on the public agenda.
SGFringe.com: What are you most looking forward to whilst in Edinburgh?
NJH: Oh wow! I’m looking forward to seeing lots of other work, being inspired but other artists as well as being surprised and taking a punt on flyer someone has given me, whether that’s a show at 1 in the morning in basement, or a lucky chance in George square gardens. I’m lucky to have an afternoon slot so that leaves lots of opportunity to discover the best the festival has to offer.
SGfringe.com and Finally in 30 seconds tell us why “First Time” is the one to watch this Fringe?
NJH: First time is Hilarious, heart-breaking solo autobiographical show that will touch your heart with its universal themes, you’ll laugh and cry then we can all have a hug and gin and tonic in the courtyard afterwards.
It certainly looks like “First Time” would be a worthy inclusion on any fringe diary so why not pop along to Summerhall and spend an hour with the Gorgeous Nathanial and experience his life journey!
First Time is performed daily 2nd – 25th August (not 12th or19th) at Summerhall in the Cairns Lecture Theatre for tickets go to: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on#q=first%20time
by Brett Herriot