Having seen the play in "previews" in New York in 1985 with Brad Davis in the lead, it was the first I had heard of "AIDS" or HIV. I immediately set about bringing the play to Ireland.
To say every obstacle that could be thrown at it, was thrown, is an understatement... but my Co-Director in the company Myra Geraghty and I found to find a way to do it.
We could get no one to even take an add in the program, but we managed to get a few leaflets, which had scant information from the "Health Board", but they want to put as much distance between themselves and the production. We also managed to persuade Dr Derek Freeman (the Irish Aids Doctor) to come and talk to the cast about the disease and we used slides that he loaned us in one sequence. Also the music of Flemish composer Wim Mertens brought an emotional force to the show.
We also had to search out some very brave actors, Anthony Newfield came to us from New York to play "Ned Weeks", B.J Hogg came from Belfast , Clive Geraghty came over from The Abbey Theatre, Derek Chapman, Jonathan Sharpe, Paudge Behan, Gabrielle Reidy, Joe Taylor and Conor Mullan all bravely also stepped up to the mark.
The Production opened at the Project Arts Centre in August 1998 to enormous acclaim, with Anthony Newfield and Joe Taylor playing Ned and Felix, and was subsequently funded to tour by the Arts Council in Ireland in 1998 when Anthony Newfield and Conor Mullan played Ned Nad Felix.
The production was Directed by Michael Scott, Designed by Brian Power and Barbara Bradshaw, Lighting was designed by Leslie Scott, Music Wim Mertens.
NED WEEKS - Anthony Newfield
FELIX - Joe Taylor/Conor Mullan
DOCTOR Gabriel Reidy
Directed Michael Scott
Setting Design and Construction Brian Power & Barbara Bradshaw
Lighting Design Leslie Scott
Music Wim Mertens
Press and Marketing Myra Geraghty
Medical Advice Dr Derek Freedman
Stage Manager Jim Doran
Lighting Operator Amy Garvey