Dibby Theatre, Waterside Arts and Creative Industries Trafford are bringing Nathaniel Hall's critically acclaimed solo-show 'First Time' to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time.


'A truly remarkable story of triumph in the face of adversity, told with humour, guts and tons of charm... I was in awe.' - Russell T Davies


Do you remember your first time? Nathaniel does... and he can’t seem to forget it. To be fair, he has had it playing on repeat for the last 15 years. But now the party is over, the balloons have all burst and he’s left living his best queer life: brunching on pills and distracting himself with daytime tv, procrastination and google… or is he?
Exploring the ups and downs of living with HIV through a series of personal letters, confessions, poems and a drag alter-ego called Sue, First Time is a funny, unapologetic, heart breaking and heart-warming theatrical gem about growing up gay and HIV+ in a straight, HIV- world.

Queer artist, performer and activist, Nathaniel Hall has created this funny and frank one-man show about living with his life-changing secret. Diagnosed two weeks after his 17th birthday, and just months after coming out as gay to his family, Nathaniel kept his HIV status from almost everybody closest to him for over 14 years.
After coming out of the closet (again) in late 2017, Nathaniel is now advocating for better contemporary representations of HIV in popular culture, through this critically acclaimed solo-show which made its debut at Waterside in Sale, Manchester in December 2018, to mark the 30th Anniversary of Worlds Aids Day.
Manchester born and bred, Nathaniel acts, writes, directs, inspires and produces bold and provocative socially minded work. On creating First Time he says: ‘I lived in secret, fear and self-loathing for 14 years. First Time marks a very public coming out as HIV+ through which I hope to inspire other people living with the virus to live more openly and break the cycle of stigma and shame.’

The First Time team will partner with HIV Scotland when the show makes its Edinburgh Fringe debut at Summerhall, helping the organisation to spread the message of its new and ambitious #ZeroHIV campaign aiming for Scotland to reach zero HIV transmissions, zero HIV-related deaths and zero HIV-related stigma by 2030.

Nathan Sparling, CEO of HIV Scotland says:
“HIV Scotland is very excited to be partnering with Nathaniel and First Time, a show that at its heart speaks to the anti-stigma message we as an organisation are dedicated to. Nathaniel’s resonant story is one that urgently needs telling and his decision to involve us is a fantastic opportunity to inform audiences about the work we do across Scotland.”

With key public health messages about HIV healthcare and prevention being promoted through the show and associated talks and workshop activities, the team are using theatre as a vehicle to educate, destigmatise and empower, in turn contributing to the UNAIDS aim of ending HIV within a generation.

The show was originally commissioned by Waterside Arts and Creative Industries Trafford and is produced by Dibby Theatre (The Newspaper Boy, 53Two, Queer Contact 2018) and was originally funded by Arts Council England, Creative Industries Trafford and Superbia from Manchester Pride.

First Time is directed by Chris Hoyle and designed by Irene Jade.

First Time previews in the Cairns Lecture Theatre, Summerhall on July 31. It runs from August 2-11; 13-18; 20-25. 16:15 daily. Ticket information here.