Part One of the two-part Angels in America, Tony Kushner’s epic drama set during the Reagan years in America – now recognised as one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century.
Prior, visited by ghosts of his ancestors and abandoned by his lover after his diagnosis with AIDS, is wondering if he is still sane when the angels select him to be their prophet. Powerbroker Roy Cohn also has the virus – but he believes that only the powerless can have that particular illness, and so kicks back against his diagnosis.
In the ‘melting pot where nothing melted’ of modern America, the nation’s reaction to the sickness – and its sufferers – is laid bare.
Millennium Approaches was premiered in May 1991 by the Eureka Theatre Company, San Francisco, directed by David Esbjornson. In London it was premiered in January 1992 in a National Theatre production at the Cottesloe Theatre, directed by Declan Donnellan.
The play received many awards, including Best Play at the 1992 Evening Standard Awards, Best New Play at the 1992 Critics’ Circle Awards, Best Play at the 1993 Tony Awards and the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
‘One of the greatest plays of the 20th century’
— New York Observer
‘The most ambitious American play of our time’
‘A vast, miraculous play, a true millennial work of art’
— New York Times
‘A victory for the theatre, for the transforming power of the imagination to turn devastation into beauty’
— The New Yorker
‘Something dark, rare and harrowing has erupted upon the London stage’
— Evening Standard
Best New Play, Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards
Best Play, Evening Standard Awards
Best Play, Tony Awards
Pulitzer Prize for Drama