First Time at the Vault Festival: Press night review by Stephen Vowles

At 16 years of age in 2003, Nathaniel Hall a vey stylish, rakish, chiseled chin young man became HIV positive and this is his story. And the fact that it took him until now not to come to terms with his situation but that he wanted to write an autobiographical one man show to get his personal messages across; and this is to be applauded not for sentimental reasons but as a way to inform, educate and actually entertain.

This is an upbeat story of a modern young man, happy with his lot and what life did, and will, throw at him. Hall’s star is most certainly on the rise and via a very tactile and amusing use of a prop box he presented his view on life. About relationships, with his school girlfriend going to the prom, falling for a boy called Sam who was gay and confident – an attribute he was keen to adhere to also.

Hall also looks at playing society’s game, the expected 2.4 children and driving a Vauxhall Astra. First Time is also imaginatively played out with some wonderful comedy moments like when Hall went to a sexual health clinic and saw a bowl of condoms and lube that he described as an adult ‘Pic ‘n’ Mix’ – very funny. Nathaniel gives a pinnacle, powerful performance and should be commended in telling his story with such courage and hope. Captivating!


First Time runs to Sunday 2nd February at The Studio, The Vault, Leake Street,  Waterloo London SE1 7NN. Tickets from

Following its run as part of the Vault Festival, First Time goes on a national tour for the month of February. Check out for venue details. 

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