Matthew Lopez’s play ‘The Inheritance’ @Young Vic
It’s an epic two-part play about gay life in New York in the shadow of the AIDS crisis… No, not Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, but the ‘The Inheritance’ is the world premiere by New York playwright Matthew Lopez (The Whipping Man, The Legend of Georgia McBride) at the Young Vic.
It brings forth the burning question of why there is no right word to describe love between two gay people.
“You have to wonder why there isn’t a word in the English language for the fireworks that go off in your brain when you finally kiss someone you’ve wanted for years. Or for the intimacy and tenderness you feel as you hold the hand of a suffering friend. A generation after the worst of the AIDS crisis, what is it like to be a young gay man in New York? How many words are there now for the different kinds of pain, the different kinds of love?”
“The Inheritance” appears to be the spiritual successor to “Angels in America,” set in the post-AIDS generation. This new two-part play is an hilarious and profound heart-breaker and most likely liable to be wildly formally different to Tony Kushner’s masterpiece. Taking in myriad voices to interrogate what has survived of the communities of the past now that most of the fears of the past have been cured or conquered? ‘What do gay men hand down from one generation to the next? What do we learn from our past? How do we heal? How do we change?’
By 1990, twice as many Americans had died of AIDS as had been killed in the Vietnam War. A full generation after this dizzying statistic, Lopez sketches the legacy of the crisis and the way in which it shapes attitudes and assumption almost 30 years later.
Over two plays this ambitious new work addresses the social and political ripples sent out by AIDS, not only through New York, but through an America that includes the rich, the poor, the destitute, mothers, children, gay and straight people. It takes us beyond politics and prejudice to explore the nuances and tenderness of falling in love.
Tony winner Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot The Musical, An Inspector Calls) directs. Previews 2nd-27th March, with an official opening March 28th, the play runs at the Young Vic through May 19th.
Andrew Burnap and John Benjamin Hickey play Toby and Henry, Samuel H. Levine and Kyle Soller join them in the roles of Adam/Leo and Eric. Vanessa Redgrave plays Margaret. Joining them are Hugo Bolton, Robert Boulter, Hubert Burton, Syrus Lower, Michael Marcus, Luke Thallon and Michael Walters.
The Inheritance is a two-part play. Monday – Saturday: 7.15pm (Wednesday & Saturday Matinees: 1:15pm). You can book to see parts 1 and 2 separately on weekday evenings or see both parts in one day on Wednesdays or Saturdays.
Each part forms a separate 3 hour performance. Each part is coherent on its own but the 2 parts together tell a single story. There will be a number of opportunities to see both parts on a single day. Ms Redgrave appears only in the second part.
Tickets £38, £29, £20, £10 Previews: (2 – 27 Mar) – £10, £20, £25