Last week VACCHO attended the highly anticipated premiere of Ilbijerri Theatre Company’s film adaptation of VIRAL, a story about breaking down the stigma surrounding Hepatitis C
Described as “a deadly short film about smashing hepatitis C”, VIRAL is the story of Ally, Kev and Merv and their journeys navigating life with hepatitis C – the stigma, the cure and the healing.
Written by Ilbijerri Theatre Company (ITC) founding member, Maryanne Sam, and under the creative direction of proud Yagera / Butchalla woman, Kamarra Bell-Wykes, VIRAL was originally developed and performed as a play which toured in 2018/19.
VACCHO teamed up with ITC in 2018 throughout the play’s development. Anne Roseman, VACCHO’s Sexual Health Coordinator provided the technical health expertise and knowledge that helped shaped the narrative ensuring it brought to light the issues Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities face while healing their bodies of Hepititis C.
Anne was on the play’s Reference Group and supported the roll out of the play to VACCHO’s Member ACCOs in 2019/2020 and continued working with ITC throughout the film adaptation process.
“We are all excited that all the amazing work on the film is now coming to fruition” – Anne Rosman.
The premiere event held at Collingwood Yards also featured a panel discussion with ITC, Liverwell and Aboriginal Elder, actor and proud Bunurong/Wiradjuri man, Uncle Jack Charles, who spoke of his experience with hepatitis C. The highly informative yarn promoted the treatments and cures available for hepatitis C and encouraged open discussions with Mob to break down the stigma.
VACCHO has continued our close collaborations with ITC and is currently working to develop a new social impact theatre production – The Score. Working closely with Thorn Harbour Health, The Score will be an innovative performance piece exploring deeper issues for young people exploring their sexuality. It will promote strength-based yarns around sexuality, diverse genders, positive relationships and primary prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Communities.
Ilbijerri Theatre Company will soon be recruiting young people in the Mildura and Swan Hill area and health workers to be part of this exciting new creative work. For more information check their website.