MUSIC BY FILIP VON UEXKULL, TY KROLL & TRISTAN BONS
BOOK & LYRICS BY ROBERT GOULD & JIMMY GRANSTROM
Full professional, Suitable for amateurs (rights available), Suitable for High Schools (rights available)
“The Dying Game” is a musical with an emotionally powerful book and a beautiful and poignant score written by an international team of writers and composers from Sweden, the USA, the Netherlands and Wales (UK) that aims to make people aware of the horrific problem of HIV/AIDS in southern Africa and to raise money that is desperately needed to help combat this problem.
The musical begins with the funeral of a woman who has died of HIV/AIDS, whose orphaned children are abandoned by their family, and then tells the story of 15 year old Rachel, who has to struggle to survive and care for her younger brothers and sister. She and two of her siblings have HIV/AIDS and eventually they succumb to the disease. Before she dies, Rachel gives birth to a baby and her only surviving brother inherits the task of trying to keep himself and his baby niece alive for “One More Sunrise”. Through it all, the resilience of the human spirit and its ability to find light in the midst of the blackest darkness shines through.
The musical also depicts the wide spectrum of the problem of HIV/AIDS in Africa – women infected with HIV forced to sell themselves in the streets to avoid starvation and rapidly spreading the disease, promiscuous men spreading HIV with no concern for the consequences, women ostracised by the community for the sin of becoming ill, the lack of education and abundance of bigotry that assists with the spread of the disease, the pitiful lack of financial relief available to tackle the vast problem – and the reality of half a continent dying by the hour. These pictures are revealed through the eyes of a western journalist and photographer, looking through the “eye of the camera”, and it becomes clear that not only the African community but also the complacent, even apathetic, West continue to play “The Dying Game”.
A showcase of “The Dying Game” was presented at the Greenwich Musical Futures season on May 26, 2005 with a cast headed by Debbie Kurup, Louise Hollamby, Stephen Weller and Sharron Byrne.