The leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage has been invited to a comedy about HIV called “Positive” by the show’s producers after his remarks about HIV in last week’s Leaders’ Debate.
In a brand new outing for the play, which previously ran at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2013 and completed a critically acclaimed run at Waterloo East Theatre in May 2014, the show is inspired by true stories from those who are living with HIV.
Playwright Shaun Kitchener said: “I’m so excited that Positive is part of the Park Theatre’s line-up this year. Whenever HIV is presented on-stage or on-screen it’s usually all doom, gloom and death-beds; but that’s simply not the case in 2015.
“HIV sufferers in Britain today are reportedly more likely to die from depression resulting from the stigma attached to them than they are from the virus itself. It’s not that it’s a medical walk in the park, but it’s not a death sentence anymore – and it’s about time theatre reflected this. If Mr Farage wants to come along and see the play for himself to learn a thing or two, we’d be more than happy to have him.”
“Following UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s outrageous claims made about HIV and immigrants at last week’s Leaders’ Debate, an open invitation stands to have him along to watch the play – and find that the stigma he fiercely promoted is total BS,” say the producers of the show.
Nigel Farage was lambasted by the other leaders on the televised debate, with Plaid Cymru’s leader Leanne Wood winning the first applause from the audience after saying that he should be “ashamed” for his remarks.
Dr Rosemary Gillespie, CEO Terrence Higgins Trust said: “It was great to see so many people express outrage after Farage’s comments about the numbers of people in the UK with HIV who were not born here. HIV is a public health issue in the UK and globally. If we do not take an inclusive approach and provide treatment for people who need it, we will never prevent onward transmission. 24% of people living with HIV in the UK do not know they are living with it, and 4 in every 10 are diagnosed at a late stage, after they needed to start treatment. HIV doesn’t discriminate and politicians shouldn’t either. Such ill-informed and discriminatory comments generate stigma, and make it harder to encourage people to take a test and stay safe”.
Positive runs July 9 to August 1 at the Park Theatre near Finsbury Park, London N4.
Tickets available: https://www.parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/positive