Recipient of the PEN U.S.A. Award in Drama, Lonely Planet originally premiered in Northlight Theatre, Illinois in 1993. Considered his most widely performed work, this production marks its UK premiere from award-winning playwright Steven Dietz, recently placed eighth on the list of the Top Ten Most Produced Playwrights in America, equal to Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams.
It’s the 1980’s in an unknown American city. There is no internet and mobile phones are a rarity, sharing information and knowledge is near impossible. It’s dark, and communication is hard. A poster appears at a local store, it’s a photo of a person’s torso with lesions all over. It’s an unknown condition that spreads quickly.
Lonely Planet is a heartfelt, funny and ultimately moving play that focuses on the friendship between Jody, a cautious and thoughtful man who insulates himself in the map store he owns; and Carl, a frequent visitor to the store with an unusually vivid imagination and multiple, ever-changing occupations. Carl notices Jody has been isolating himself from the world and starts bringing chairs into his shop to convince him to confront the fears which prevent him from leaving his store. The play shows an individual’s struggle to come to terms with illness, their own mortality and the stigma associated with AIDS.
Director Ian Brown was artistic director and chief executive of the West Yorkshire Playhouse and was previously artistic director of the TAG Theatre Company in Glasgow and the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh.
Lonely Planet is at The Tabard Theatre June 27th 2017 – July 15th 2017.