by Rodain Joubert
Students at Rhodes may occasionally feel saturated by messages about HIV/Aids, causing them to switch off and ignore the issues at hand. The UBOM! Eastern Cape Drama Company hopes to change that with their latest performance, which aims to look at the condition in a new and enlightening way.
Since last week, Risky Business has been showing at various dining halls on the Rhodes campus, featuring not only UBOM!’s trademark combination of humour, song and physical imagery, but also an invaluable post-show session with the students. During this time, the audience is able to ask questions about HIV/Aids and related matters.
Alex Sutherland, project manager of the performance, says these sessions have been a great success so far. “Conversations with audiences have been overwhelmingly supportive of the effectiveness of the production,” she said, adding that Risky Business aimed to avoid the replication of prominent messages.
The performance is backed by HEAIDS, a higher education body affiliated with the Department of Education, which aims to combat HIV/Aids through the generation and dissemination of knowledge. HEAIDS was first launched in 2000 and has since garnered support from the European Community.
The performance itself is simple in terms of the tools it uses. It works at provoking emotion and meaningful thought through a carefully scripted portrayal of Rhodes students who struggle to deal with the reality of the disease penetrating their largely sheltered lives.
Although most of the shows are performed for students in residences, there will also be Oppidan and staff performances. More information about dates and venues will be made available on posters around campus and the Rhodes online forum.