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‘Cocktail Conversation’ in Ireland

If the title of this post brings to mind images of intimate, candlelit gatherings of Dublin’s polite society making small talk while sipping on Negronis and Pink Ladies, allow me to clarify.
‘Cocktail Conversation’ is a one-act play I wrote some years ago now – in 2002 to be precise – but which is sadly just as relevant today as it was back then. It was written in response to a dispiriting news article I’d read which attributed a new rise in HIV infections among young people to advances in antiretroviral drug therapy (commonly referred to as “drug cocktails”). The perception had begun to form among the younger demographic of the gay community that HIV infection wasn’t really such a big deal anymore since these drug cocktails essentially allowed you to live forever – or at least to a close approximation of a normal lifespan.
The play is written as a comedy, but is subtly underpinned by a sobering reality in the lives of its two protagonists. It’s centered around two young gay men sitt…

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