Battersea-based Savage Theatre are bringing The Infection Monologues to the Fringe this year: a show which promises a hard-hitting and honest look at people living with HIV. In association with the Terence Higgins Trust, the cast of 18-24 year-olds are hoping the piece can help raise awareness amongst their own generation.
“The original piece was written in the US,” explains Ray. “All the characters were gay men affected by HIV.”
“When we decided to take it on, the cast felt they wanted to reflect the fact it can impact everyone, so we’ve altered it to feature more diverse characters, some of whom are female.”
“It’s a collection of people’s stories – all based on fact – which are cut and interspersed and delivered to the audience,” he explains. “And it’s certainly not a one-hour safe sex lesson.”
Much like the Vagina Monologues, the work is often added to each time it is tackled.
“It becomes like a social history piece,” says Ray. “Our version includes a character called Liz, based on a real person who the cast went and interviewed. They all left feeling so passionate about her story, they wanted her included in ours. We are working closely with Alex Garner, the original writer, to ensure that the integrity of the piece is maintained. The Infection Monologues is not intended to be a prevention piece. It is intended to break new ground on the way we understand new HIV infections, risk, and, shame/stigma”
Last year, Savage Theatre took a show – Feeding The Troll – to the Fringe.
“It was a really good experience,” says Ray. “We all left saying that one thing we were definitely going to do was come back.” “
And some of the cast from last year enjoyed it so much they’ve been asking me if they can come up this year – even if it’s just to work front-of-house!”
You can see The Infection Monologues at theSpaces on North Bridge from 5-13 Aug (not 7) at 19:05. More details are on the Fringe website.