Holding The Man (West End Production)

Trafalgar Studios

4th May - 3rd Jul, 2010

Holding The Man (West End Production)

Producers:  Daniel Sparrow, Mike Walsh, Neil Gooding, Matthew Henderson, Suzie Franke, Gerry Ryan
Associate Producer: Jaqueline Kolek
Adaptor: Tommy Murphy
Director: David Berthold
Set Design: Brian Thomson
Costume & Puppet Design:  Micka Agosta
Lighting Design: James Whiteside
Composer: Basil Hogios
Assistant Director: Adam Spreadbury-Maher

Holding The Man has its own website:  www.holdingtheman.co.uk

Neil Gooding Productions was one of the producers responsible for taking the hit Australian play Holding The Man to the West End. It opened for a 10 week season at Trafalgar Studios on the 4th of May, 2010 starring Jane Turner (Kath & Kim) and Simon Burke.

Holding the Man has become one of the most successful Australian stage productions in recent years. 

Holding the Man broke box office records, achieving a total of 4 sell out seasons in Sydney, including a transfer to Sydney Opera House, Company B Belvoir, followed by a national tour to Brisbane’s Powerhouse and Melbourne Theatre Company. A United States and NZ production followed and now, the European premiere will be staged in London’s West End in the Spring of 2010. 

The multi award winning play’s accolades include 2007 NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Best Play, the 2007 AWGIE for Best Play and the Philip Parsons Award. 

It hails from Griffin Theatre Company, that has provided many of this country’s great stage to screen inspirations including The Heartbreak Kid, The Boys (nominated for 13 AFIs) and winner of the AFI Award for Best Feature Film Lantana (from the stage play Speaking in Tongues). 

The term "holding the man" comes from Australian football and refers to a transgression that incurs a penalty.


Winner, 2007 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, Best Play
Winner, 2007 Australian Writers' Guild Award (AWGIE), Best Play
Winner, 2007 Aussietheatre.com Online Awards for Best Play
Nomination, 2007 Helpmann Award for Best Play
Nomination, 2007 Sydney Theatre Awards, Best New Australian Work
Nomination, 2007 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, Best Play


Variety (World premiere review)

'A theatrical triumph because the material is so incredibly strong'

'HIV-related stories have made for some of the most powerful dramas of the last 20 years, and the stage production of Timothy Conigrave's 1995 memoir Holding the Man now joins them... Exquisitely raw and personal'

Sydney Morning Herald (World premiere review)

'Compelling, wrenching and essential... I laughed and I wept'

'Devastating, moving'
'Tommy Murphy's adaptation of Tim Conigrave's memoir is an act of urgent remembrance, an unflinching, devastating, moving and funny reanimation of that awful time. It is also the story of two people in love... David Berthold's direction plays fully with the theatricality of a work that's set, at least partially, in a theatre. The entire space is used. There's a sharpness of pacing and a richly rewarding attention to emotional detail'


'A rollercoaster of emotions... Transcends the stereotypes and idiosyncrasies of gay culture, exploring universal themes such as identity, love, sex and fidelity, making for gripping viewing'

'What makes Holding the Man particularly harrowing, yet cathartic, is the fact that it is autobiographical... Uplifting yet tragic... Leaving the audience thoroughly moved and reinforcing the theme that love can overcome even the most grievous of obstacles'

The Australian

'A powerful story of a surprisingly and heroically enduring love' 

'A great deal of humour and feeling... There are some wickedly funny scenes'


Sydney Morning Herald (Fourth return season)

'Back for an astonishing fourth time, Holding the Man has a profound impact on cast & audience alike'

'Love is what allows Holding the Man to transcend sexuality, race and class'

Sydney Stage Online

'One of the funniest plays I've seen this year... Holding the Man is something of an impossible miracle. It's a brilliant play that delights and entertains, teasing you from the distractions of life's cruelties only to slug a full-force hit to your heart as a reminder that life is, if anything, double-edged'

Sydney Star Observer

'Join an audience who gasp both in tears and in laughter”

Original Cast

Simon Burke
Guy Edmonds
Oliver Farnworth
Anna Skellern
Jane Turner
Matt Zeremes