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Il-Pożittivi: A Maltese play tackles HIV head on
Despite the fact that theatres are expected to reopen soon, a brand new play in Maltese could not be postponed any further and the cast and crew are positively determined to present the show, exclusively online.
Il-Pożittivi, a play written by Simon Bartolo and directed by Toni Attard, is the first contemporary Maltese play that tackles the societal stigma, which surrounds those who live with HIV in Malta. The play is inspired by the true stories shared by participants during anonymous interviews, conducted as pat of the research project.
Il-Pożittivi sheds light on six character whose lives have all been somewhat affected by HIV, weaving in real life situations with a fictitious story, typical of Bartolo’s style, which layers comedy with serious drama.
“Few people living with HIV in Malta have publicly disclosed their status or speak about the subject, underlining their fear of being alienated or discriminated against for having the condition. The theatre project included the participation of people living with HIV in Malta and is acting as an artistic platform to demystify HIV and the stigmatisation impacting their lives,” said Toni Attard.
A hospital visit becomes the first step for the characters to untangle the situations they find themselves in. Between the chemsex party where this comic play begins and the birthday party where it ends, the play is an emotional ride triggered by relationships, love, friendship, anger, joy, betrayal and most of all, hope.
Starring theatre favourites Josette Ciappara, Ray Calleja, Clare Agius, Stephen Mintoff and Benjamin Abela, as well as Danish actor and HIV activist Chris Vincent, this production has been in development for two years.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, which didn’t permit the show to be staged in May as initially planned, the public will now be able to enjoy Il-Pożittivi through an exclusive, on-demand online viewing experience instead.
The show will premiere at 8pm on Friday 18 June, and will be available until 30 June, 2021. After months of online and studio rehearsals, the actors will be recording the show as live, from the Valletta Campus Theatre during its closure.
With videography by Kevin Kiomall, the production will feature a set by Romualdo Moretti, light design by Chris Gatt and sound design by Michael Quinton.
Il-Pożittivi is suitable for audiences aged 15 and over, and will be available on demand, at any time of the day, with a 48-hour viewing window. The show is in Maltese with English subtitles and the tickets can be purchased from here.
Il-Pożittivi is produced by Culture Venture, within the project Acting on the Margins: Art as Social Sculpture, partnered in Malta by the Department of Arts, Open Communities and Adult Education, within the Faculty of Education, University of Malta. AMASS has received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programmer, and is supported by MGRM, Arts Council Malta, Brown’s Pharmacy, Pleasure Malta and Sex Clinic by Willingness.