Following the phenomenal success of Channel4’s It’s a Sin, CRUISE is a celebration of life, queer culture and survival - this is the uplifting and inspirational theatrical event of summer


1988. Soho. His last night on earth.

The intoxicating, vibrant CRUISE is the true story of what should have been Michael Spencer’s last night on earth, performing live for a strictly limited season.

When he’s diagnosed with HIV in 1984, Michael is told he’ll have four years to live – at most. So, with the clock ticking, he and his partner Dave decide to sell their house, flog the car, and spend everything they have to party like it’s the last days of Rome. When Dave dies two years later, Michael doubles down on his hedonistic ways, spending what little he has on drink and drugs.

On the last night of his four year countdown – the 29th February, 1988 – Michael decides to go out with a bang. He puts on his favourite jacket, heads for Soho, and embarks on a long night of farewells. He says his goodbyes, dances, sings, and says yes to everything and everyone. Then, with all his affairs taken care of, Michael promptly… survives.

Michael got lucky. He’s been given the gift of life; but what kind of life can he now live?

Written and performed by Jack Holden (War Horse, West End; Ink, Almeida Theatre), CRUISE is a celebration of queer culture; a kaleidoscopic musical and spoken word tribute to the veterans of the AIDs crisis; an urgent piece of theatre, with an irresistible 80s soundtrack, which will make you laugh, make you cry, and which inspires us all to live every day as if it’s our last.

Critic reviews

It’s a beautifully told story

West End Wilma

One of the most incredible and must-see pieces of theatre to come to London for a long time

Theatre Weekly

A stunning piece of theatre with a lot of heart

A Younger Theatre

An intimate cross-generational look at the LGBTQ+ community

London Theatre

Who tells your story? Brendan Mcdonald reviews Jack Holden’s debut play, a true story of a wild night out in gay Soho he heard while working on an LGBTQ+ helpline


This new play is as searingly honest as It’s a Sin

The Telegraph

A stunning piece of theatre

Musical Theatre Review

Jack Holden holds up this ’80s gay Soho story

Evening Standard

A stunning return to lost gay London

The Guardian

A remarkable tour-de-force


Gloriously theatrical writing debut

The Stage

Date & time

Show ended
Tue 18 May - Sun 13 Jun 2021,
3pm, 6pm & 8pm

The Duchess Theatre operates strictly under the government COVID-19 guidelines. All bookings in a party must only be from the same household or the legally defined support bubble.


3-5 Catherine St WC2B 5LA London, UK · Get Directions
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