'First Time' awarded Waterside and Creative Industries Trafford Theatre Commission

Waterside and Creative Industries Trafford (CIT) are delighted to announce that Manchester-based theatre-maker Nathaniel Hall has been awarded the Waterside Arts Theatre Commission for his show First Time. 

Nathaniel is going to blow the lid on a secret he’s kept for nearly 15 years. Told through a series of letters, poems, confessions, a pumping 80s inspired soundtrack and a game show where the price always has to be right,  First Timeis a funny, urgent and frank one-man show about  growing up queer and HIV+ in a straight, HIV- world. 

Diagnosed 2 weeks after his 17th birthday, and just months after coming out as gay, Nathaniel kept his HIV status secret from friends and family for over 14 years. After coming out of the closet (again) in late 2017, he’s now advocating for better contemporary representations of HIV in popular culture, in his own words: ‘Tom Hanks in Philadelphia just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore…’

Manchester born and bred, Queer artist and activist Nathaniel writes, directs, inspires and produces bold and provocative socially minded work and and admires Kate O’Donnell, Louise Wallwein, Stacy Makishi and Jackie Hagan as his performance heroes: 

‘For me, theatre needs to move you, take you on a journey from one place to another. It should shift your perspective in some way… and you should learn something about yourself too…These incredible powerhouses of performance win hearts, minds and allies to their individual causes through their work – if I can achieve a shred of what they have for HIV visibility and education, I’ll be delighted.’

Waterside and Creative Industries Trafford (CIT) Theatre Commission Opportunity supports an ambitious theatre-maker or company based in the North to develop a new, innovative performance to premiere in the Chambers at Waterside in late November. First Time was selected from a pool of over 70 applications, with eight shortlisted artists and companies presenting their innovative, passionate and creative ideas to a judging panel at Waterside.

Ross Carey, Theatre Commissions Coordinator said: ‘I was struck by the urgency and ambition of First Time. In his presentation, Nathaniel identified how his work differed from existing narratives around HIV and it was something which really excited the panel.  Nathaniel’s project is unique, bold, brave, and is one which has the potential to make waves on a regional and national level.  I’m particularly excited to support the development of this project and Nathaniel as creative as he takes on his first solo project.

Nathaniel will receive £2,000 towards producing the show, a three night run in the Chambers, mentoring from Waterside & CIT staff and a tailored support package.  

Nathaniel and First Time received initial support and development from Contact, Manchester and Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield. First Time will be produced in association with popular, emerging theatre company Dibby Theatre (The Newspaper Boy, 53Two, Queer Contact 2018).

Find out more about Nathaniel: www.nathanieljhall.wixsite.com/letscreate