Focus on the Positives
This is a dramedy about HIV stigma in young gay men. In a world where our elders and mentors are not around, and there is no education, HIV has become something mysterious and something to be feared. Through the lens of a new gay relationship, this play interrogates the how and why of this stigma and ultimately seeks to educate audiences through a casual and conversational tone.
Focus on the Positives
Who Are We?
Baggage Claim Theatre LTD is an emerging theatre company that tackles queer social issues through a comedic and conversational tone. We started as university students and want to make academic discussions in theatre accessible for everyone - not just lecturers. We want to get people talking, and we've all got a lot of baggage to unpack so why not have fun with it?
Our stories revolve around our lived experiences as members of the LGBTQ+ community and although not all our audiences will have lived the same moments our work aims to connect at a more human level. We want our theatre to tap into the universality of emotion and empathy that connects us all in order to open conversational and educational safe spaces where as a community we can examine ourselves and each other.
Meet the Team
Sam is a playwright and theatre-maker who makes up one half of Baggage Claim Theatre. He is interested in creating work that answers questions rather than answers them and believes that theatre should be a place for joy as well as hard conversations. In 2019 his original play The Visitors went to Edinburgh Fringe and received a four star review. His work has covered addiction, male mental health, and now is tackling the topic of HIV stigma. He is currently studying his Masters in Creative Enterprise.
Gem is an LX technician and director who is the other half of Baggage Claim Theatre. Their passion is in the development from concept to performance and how the staging of theatre is equally as impactful as dialogue. She aspires to create work in which the realisation of technical aspects are used to enhance the emotional connection between the audience and the story. They have worked on Les Miserables on the West-End and is currently on the national tour of My Fair Lady. She has also worked on fringe theatre such as Don't Ask, Don't Get Baby performed at The Space in 2020.
What is Focus on the Positives?
This is an autobiographical, queer monologue play that discussed HIV stigma in young gay men. The education is out there, so why are so many people still in the dark? The play follows a man as he finds out his partner is positive, and realises he doesn't have a clue what that really means. This performance is funny, conversational and unflinching when discussing those three big scary letters.
This play started life as a university project focussed on advocacy and since then we have developed it into a full-length performance. We have performed scratch versions of the show at The White Bear in Kennington, Baron's Court Theatre in West Kensington and Camden People's Theatre - all the while asking for feedback to make the show the best it can be. We are currently programmed for a run at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre from the 26th-30th of July 2022.
We want to present an intimate story of a modern relationship that engages with the topics of gay love and HIV but through a lens of normality and an understated tone. We believe this approach will encourage more people to want to learn, do their own independent research and not be afraid to discuss these topics. Our ethos at Baggage Claim Theatre is always to unpack current social issues with an unflinching eye, and in a time where conversations surrounding HIV are beginning to open up again in the UK, we want to add to the conversation and encourage people to do the same.
Our Budget and How You Can Help
We are aiming to raise £800 (16% of our £5,000 budget) through GREENLIT and the support of our friends, family, LGBTQ+ community and fellow creatives. The money you help us to raise will go straight into facilitating our run at The Lion and Unicorn by funding:
- paying our creative team
- marketing and advertising
- venue hire
- set, props, costume and technical requirements
As a startup creative company and as creatives ourselves we understand the importance of paying artists fairly. Funds will go directly into making sure that everyone on the team (actors, director and technical team) are paid fairly for their skills in line with ITC (independent theatre council) rates of pay.
Every donation will help go towards employing young, creative, queer talent whilst creating a new and exciting piece of educational theatre, we appreciate anything you can give!