The Multi-award winning musical, The Last Session receives its European premiere in October 2012, at the Tristan Bates Theatre.
Set in a recording studio in 1996, singer/songwriter, Gideon is tired of being ill and ready to give up. He’s holding one last session to record the most important album of his life. To show his undying love to his partner, he plans to record a musical letter of farewell. For this last session, he reunites with some old friends and is joined by an unexpected visitor, who shares Gideon’s Christian faith and for whom Gideon’s sexuality changes everything. The Last Session tells Gideon’s story: of faith, love and hope and of the search for a reason to go on in the face of pain, indignity and adversity.
The Last Session is partly based on composer Steve Schalchlin’s own experiences and was written in an era in when AIDS was a terrifying and growing epidemic for which the treatment was largely experimental. This landmark musical originated Off-Broadway and features a surging score of blues, rock and gospel with lyrics that only a person who has been close to The Edge could write.
The show won a host of awards following its 1997 Off-Broadway premiere including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book in the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and is a GLAAD Media Award winner. It was nominated for Best Musical by the New York Drama League and the New York Outer Critics Circle.
Steve Schalchlin is also the author of the Landmark blog, Living in The Bonus Round, started in 1996, which has become a living testament to his battle with AIDS. It began when he was severely ill and expecting to die, as a way of keeping friends and family updated and to record his final thoughts. Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu wrote The Last Session partly based on Steve’s experience of the illness. The duo also created the award-winning and acclaimed The Big Voice: God or Merman?
Jim Brochu is an award-winning actor and writer. In 2010 he won the coveted New York Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance for the multi-award winning Zero Hour which he also wrote.
Director Guy Retallack’s work for the stage includes the award nominated Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story; Liberty (Shakespeare’s Globe and National Tour); Faster (Filter Theatre at the Lyric Hammersmith and 59E59 Street Theater New York); The Secret Rapture (Lyric Theatre); Tommy (BKL National Tour); Worlds End (Trafalgar Studios) and Future Me (Theatre 503, followed by an ACE national tour).
Produced by Climar Productions who brought the multi-award nominated Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb story to the UK in 2011, which won widespread critical acclaim. Casting by Anne Vosser, Musical Direction by Tom Turner and lighting by Richard Williamson.