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World Exclusive: Andrew Garfield, Russell Tovey and cast on the evergreen relevance of Angels in America

Joseph Sinclair

Get inside the May 2017 issue of Gay Times, featuring a world exclusive interview with Andrew Garfield and Russell Tovey, stars of the National Theatre’s upcoming staging of Angels in America – the most important play to come out of the 20th century.

Angels in America is, without a doubt, the most important play to come out of the 20th century. Written by Tony Kushner, the story is a complex examination of AIDS and homosexuality in America in the 1980s. The Pulitzer Prize-winning production is set at the height of the AIDS epidemic – an epidemic which had claimed over 230,000 lives, in the US alone, by the time the play debuted in 1993.

It’s been 25 years since the National Theatre first staged Angels in America. While the play has Ronald Reagan in power, enforcing an anti-gay agenda which directly or indirectly led to the deaths of thousands of gay men in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, it doesn’t take a huge leap to recognise the similarities with the incumbent President in the US.

Related: Angels in America lauded with praise following ‘transcendent’ first performances

In our world exclusive interview and shoot with the 2017 cast of Angels in America, we question whether the significance of Angels in America might be lost on a younger generation of gay men. Andrew Garfield feels passionately that young people see this play:

“[Gay men in the 80s] fought a political system that wasn’t supporting them nor saving their lives in order for a new generation of gay men to live and be free.”

While his co-star Russell Tovey thinks we should also try and understand the impact of what we lost as a community:

“Just think of how many people wouldn’t have died, and how many plays [would have been] written or songs made. A huge wedge of creative people were just wiped out.”

Read the full interview with Andrew Garfield and Russell Tovey, and the cast of Angels in America, in our May 2017 issue. In a no-holds-barred conversation, the cast discuss the political and cultural parallels between then and now (spoiler alert: there are many!), the evergreen relevance of Angels in America and the importance of coming out and living with pride.

 

Because summer is hurtling towards us at breakneck speed, TOWIE’s Charlie King, our resident fitness guru, gets you festival ready with a focus on upper body workouts. James Haskell, former Gay Times cover star and international rugby icon, takes us through the new fitness craze, F45. Once you’ve got the shoulders shaped and the HIIT workouts nailed, head over to our style section for the best in cross-seasonal dressing.

On a more serious note, we dive into homophobia in football; self-harming in the LGBT+ community; the gay sex scene in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city; and men who make money from men they barely know.

Guy Ritchie’s reboot of the fabled King Arthur sees Charlie Hunnam, who rose to fame in Russell T Davies’ Queer As Folk, cast in the lead role. Guy and Charlie sit down and discuss giving King Arthur a Guy Ritchie makeover, and how Charlie feels about often being reduced to the sum of his (physical) parts, if you will.

Steps take us through their brilliant new album, track by track, and use the portmanteau “gay-tastic” to describe it. We have heard it. It is gay. It is fantastic. It’s gay-tastic.

Lucie Jones, who is representing the UK at this year’s Eurovision, sticks her hand in our sweetie jar of random questions. She’s good at sticking her hand in things, as we find out during the course of the interview.

And because we like to really pack the gay in – we are, after all, Gay Times – we take a look at Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, which turns 20 this year. We speak to Todrick Hall, YouTube-sensation-cum-Broadway-star about the Wizard of Oz, and to Will and Grace’s Megan Mullally about her new band and – of course – her latest turn as Karen Walker. Did you just burst into a million pieces of glitter?

The issue is packed with opinion, travel, style and fitness, as usual, and you can subscribe annually or buy a single issue here.

Joseph Sinclair

If you missed out on tickets or are part of our international audience, both parts of Angels in America will be broadcast via National Theatre Live: Part 1 on 20 July, the second 27 July. They’ll be followed by encore performances from the 4 August in selected venues around the UK.

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