I THOUGHT it would be a disturbing experience to see First Time, a play which marks the 30th Anniversary of World Aids Day ­— but it ripples with humour.

Presented at Sale Waterside Arts, it tells the true story of Nathaniel Hall, who contracts HIV on the first occasion he had sex, when he was just 16.

His one-man show, sometimes moving, tells with frankness, the experiences which face him after becoming HIV positive.

Manchester born and bred, actor Nathaniel has written this inspiring piece, directed by Chris Hoyle. It is produced in association with Dibby Theatre.

The suffering he endures is not only from the disease itself, but from the reaction of others towards him and he has to fight an overwhelming sense of shame.

The aim of his show is to help people suffering from the virus to be open about it in order to break the stigma.

One of the most moving moments comes at the end when he spoke of a four letter word ­— hope ­— which replaces the suffering caused by the three letter word, HIV.

I was the lucky recipient of a copy of a letter he’d written to out himself to his parents, 14 years after diagnosis.

He told them: “For years I thought keeping it inside was somehow staying in control but over recent years the anxiety and sadness this has caused me has become unbearable.”

Star rating: * * * *