Shaun Kitchener’s latest play, Positive, portrays the life of Benji – a young gay man dealing with HIV. “If Britney can get through 2007, then I can get through today.”
Your reviewer has seen quite a lot of performances on the theme of HIV, dozens in the last couple of years and almost without exception they’ve been utterly soul crushing. Worthy and important? Undoubtably. But enjoyable? In a word, no.
Shaun has taken a different tact with POSITIVE. He has used his comedic timing and way with words, along with an excellent cast to create a two-part performance that’s both ‘rolling in the aisles’ funny and heart-wrenchingly painful at the same time.
Benji, played by Timothy George, and his overbearing mother (played by his real life mother Sally George) create some priceless scenes which will be familiar to any gay person who’s recently come out trying to lead and independent life.
It was refreshing to see HIV portrayed in a realistic was in 2014. When life gives you lemons you make lemonade and then add vodka.
We came away wanting to know what happened next with the characters, which is always a sign of great character development, and wishing that our HIV consultants were as nice as Jennifer.
This is a play for everyone, no matter what your sexuality or HIV status. You’ll leave with your sides split and your mind opened.
POSITIVE is playing at the Waterloo East Theatre until 1st June 2014. You can book your tickets here.
Photo credit: Tom Crook of Bobbin Productions.