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Film and TV

Powerful new lockdown film reimagines Princess Diana’s historic visit to an AIDS hospital

Patrick Kelleher July 22, 2020
Princess Diana

Princess Diana (Getty)

A new film created in coronavirus lockdown recreates the incredible moment Princess Diana visited an AIDS unit in London in 1987 and shook a patient’s hand.

Moments of Grace was originally written as a play by Bren Gosling and was set to debut at the Actors Centre’s flagship venue, the Tristan Bates Theatre.

But the COVID-19 pandemic put those plans to bed.

Now, a film version made entirely by actors in lockdown and created in association with the National HIV Story Trust will air on the Actors Centre website from July 31 to August 9.

Princess Diana film Moments of Grace looks at the impact her AIDS unit visit had on three people.

The film follows the remarkable day Princess Diana visited London’s first AIDS unit and looks at the impact it had on the lives of three people: Andrew, a patient; Jude, a nurse on the ward; and Donnie, a fireman who is estranged from his son.

Moments of Grace was inspired in part by oral history testimonies collected by the National HIV Story Trust as well as other original interviews in an effort to accurately represent lived experiences.

Moments of Grace is a truly unique piece of work that we know will resonate deeply and powerfully with audience members.

“This story is a key part of our recent queer and collective history, which is in danger of being forgotten,” said the film’s writer and executive producer Bren Gosling.

“In the midst of our current, challenging pandemic times, Moments of Grace reminds us of how acts of kindness can affect a sea of change in attitudes towards the marginalised, stigmatised and oppressed; it gives us hope,” he said.

The ‘heart-wrenching, necessary and urgent’ story will be available to stream on the Actors Centre website.

Mitchell Reeve, theatre programme manager at the Actors Centre, said the story is “heart-wrenching, necessary and urgent”.

“Merging the immediacy of theatre with the possibility of film, Moments of Grace is a truly unique piece of work that we know will resonate deeply and powerfully with audience members.”

The National HIV Story Trust has been recording and preserving stories of people who have lived experience of HIV and AIDS since the 1980s, when the epidemic was at its height.

“We seek also to re-imagine those experiences through the arts and are proud to associate with this dynamic production of Bren Gosling’s new play Moments of Grace,” a spokesperson for the organisation said.

Moments of Grace will be available to stream on the Actors Centre website from 7.30pm on July 31 to 11.59pm on August 9.

More: Bren Gosling, Mitchell Reeve, Moments of grace, National HIV Story Trust, Princess Diana, The Actors Centre

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