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A show about staying positive in a negative world

Conceived, written and performed by theatre-maker and HIV activist Nathaniel Hall (It’s A Sin), First Time smashes through the stigma of HIV.

Can you remember your first time? Nathaniel can’t seem to forget his. To be fair, he has had it playing on repeat for the last 15 years.

Now the party is over, the balloons have all burst and he’s left living his best queer life: brunching on pills and Googling kangaroo vaginas, ancient condoms and human cesspits on a weekday morning… or is he?

Award-winning HIV+ theatre-maker Nathaniel Hall (It’s a Sin) and Dibby Theatre present their critically acclaimed ‘hilarious’ and ‘heartbreaking’ hit autobiographical show about growing up positive in a negative world.

Join him as he blows the lid on the secret he’s been keeping all these years.

The show accompanies Nathaniel’s continued activism to break down the stigma associated with the disease through talks, participatory projects, education and outreach.

Through First Time, Nathaniel and Dibby Theatre are radically changing public attitudes to HIV. Blending arts with health and education, the show never feels like a lecture but packs a punch in its messaging.

Each performance features a post-show discussion, with special guests. Please refer back to this page for updates over the next few weeks.


We’re so excited to be hosting ACT UP + GET DOWN, the official post-show afterparty for First Time. 

Join Dibby Theatre, George House Trust, Mix-Stress and Supernature Disco as they celebrate 36 years of HIV activism in Manchester. 

Tickets are just £5 and available here for Sat 4 December. We’ll be acting up and getting down from 10pm until late 

Please reach out to our box office team at for any queries 

Access & Socially Distanced Performances

  • This show has content and health warnings, please read in full here.
  • There will be a BSL performance of this show on Fri 3 Dec at 7.30pm, interpreted by Karl Llorca.
  • There will be a captioned performance of this show on Thursday 2 Dec at 7.30pm
  • We have a socially distanced performance of this show on Sat 4 Dec at 2pm. Go to our Your Visit page here, for more details on visiting our building.
  • If you have any access needs you want to discuss with us, please call the box office Monday to Friday between 10-5pm on 0161 274 0600, alternatively you can email the box office on, or get in touch via direct message on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (@contactmcr on all three platforms).


Get access to a range of exclusive offers and juicy deals throughout the year with our Contact Membership.

For just £10, you can get 12 months of priority booking, exclusive offers and juicy deals.

Book tickets to shows like Emma Frankland’s Hearty and News News News entirely for free.

You get the added bonus of 25% off shows across Queer Contact and other shows such as First Time and Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster for the next year!

More exclusive deals pending.

You can buy this membership at any point, and get 12 months of ticket offers and exclusive access.


Watch the trailer here


Written and Performed By Nathaniel Hall

Directed by Chris Hoyle

Design by Irene Jade

Original Music and Sound Design Nathaniel Hall

Live Art Consultant Stacy Makishi

Lighting Design Joel Clements

Additional Sound Design Joel Clements

Marketing Design Lee Baxter

Trailer Georgiana Ghetiu

Trailer Animation Gavin Wood

Production Photography Andrew Perry, Lee Baxter, Dawn Kilner and Youcef Hadjazi

Technical Stage Manager Joel Clements

PR Consultant Rachel Furst

Marketing Nathaniel Hall

Producer Ross Carey

Executive Producer Nathaniel Hall

A Waterside Arts Commission supported by Arts Council England

  • Price
    £20 full price/£15 under 35s/£10 concessions - 25% off for Contact members.
  • Venue


  • Ages
    Recommended for ages 14+
  • Running
    75 minutes
  • Booking info

    There will be a performance dedicated to schools, please contact our Box Office for information and booking by calling us on 0161 274 0600.

  • Genre
Date Time & Place
Tuesday 30 November 7:30pm
Sold out
Wednesday 1 December 7:30pm
Sold out
Thursday 2 December 7:30pm
Sold out
Friday 3 December 7:30pm
Sold out
Saturday 4 December 2:00pm
Sold out
Saturday 4 December 7:30pm
Sold out

Credits & Partners