The play opens with a silent funereal tribute with the whole cast gathered around a flame in a brazier. As the brazier is raised to the flies, a furious party ensues with disco music. In Scene 1 in July 1981 we see Craig Donner (Elander Moore) terrified at his diagnosis. Craig Donner is barely out of his teens and he is frightened and shaking with emotion. An older man David (Richard Cant) has dark lesions on his face.
Love, anger and activism during the 1980s AIDS crisis. A new virus is infecting gay men across New York City. As the rising death toll is ignored by government and the medical establishment, fear and confusion turns to rage and division. Using this anger, writer and activist Ned Weeks sets out to unite the community in their fight for recognition and right to survive.
The play opens at an exhibition where one of the visitors is an actor, Lou (Kiza Deen) who is working on a film, The Ghost Ship, about the painter Joseph Turner and his painting where she plays an African woman Olu.