Twenty five years after it first appeared at the National Theatre, Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play Angels in America has returned to the Southbank. And if there is one piece of theatre you drag yourself out to see, this should be the one. Or two, as the case may be.
That's because Angels in America is comprised of two separate parts, thus requiring two trips to the theatre in order to see the full work. So you could make a whole day of it with matinée and evening doses, or spread it out over a couple of nights.
Set in 1980s New York, Millennium Approaches (part one) and Perestroika (part two) form a powerful examination of the AIDS crisis, which intermittently borders on the fantastical thanks to ghostly appearances that intertwine the eight characters. The themes are as poignant today as they have ever been spanning, as they do, homophobia, racism, sexism, infidelity, religious prejudices and all the other reasons we have to misunderstand one another.
Part one was first brought to the stage by Sir Richard Eyre in 1992, with the second instalment following a year later, and the work was later made into an Emmy-winning mini-series starring Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thomson. Today, the cast is led by Spiderman and The Social Network actor Andrew Garfield, along with Nathan Lane, James McArdle and Russell Tovey. They are directed by Marianne Elliott.
Whilst tickets may have sold out in record time (if you blinked, you most definitely missed it), ballots are running throughout the run with hundreds of £20 tickets up for grabs. What's more, you can see live relays of the performances in cinemas thanks to the ever-popular National Theatre Live series, in July. But if you simply can't wait until then, early birds can of course do that old fashioned thing and queue up in the mornings for day tickets.
It's up to you. But don't let this one pass you by.
From 4th May; nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/angelsinamerica
For more information on the 'Angels' Ballot presented by Delta, click here:
National Theatre Live broadcasts: 20th July (Part One: Millennium Approaches) and 27th July (Part Two: Perestroika); encore performances in selected cinemas from 4th August. For more information, click here.