October marks the start of theatre season in Malta and, this year, culture vultures are in for a treat with all sorts of events to look forward to – from comedy to drama, and even physical theatre. Actress Jo Caruana shares her thoughts on the season to come.
What is the theatre season like in Malta?
Busy! I think anyone who has stayed away from the scene for a while – or who has never experienced it at all – would be surprised by what’s on offer. In the next few weeks alone audiences can book into see the dark play version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at the Manoel Theatre, the very psychical Attempts on Her Life at St James, the hilarious Four Play Four also at the Manoel, and the musical the Last Five Years at the Blue Box Theatre in Msida. I will also be taking part in My First Time, at the City Theatre in Valletta. It’s almost hard to keep up!
What theatre venues are most popular in Malta?
Of course, the Manoel Theatre will always be really special – I love the architecture and grandeur. That said, there are also lots of wonderful little venues around. Blue Box, at MSpace in Msida, is a good example. It has become very popular in recent years as a space for really good comedy and drama. Last month I watched the play Handbag there, starring a young cast, and it was great. In Valletta, Pjazza Teatru Rjal is also gaining ground and has become an exciting venue when the weather allows, while St James Cavalier is certainly a staple too.
What do you love most about the theatre scene in Malta?
The diversity and the social side. There really is so much going on that you can watch something different every weekend throughout the winter, and the standard is fantastic. The scene is also very relaxed – I love heading out into Valletta after a show, whether for a drink on Strait Street or for dinner nearby.
What are your ‘ones to watch’ this season?
I am particularly looking forward to The Last Five Years, which is a really, really lovely musical being performed by two very talented singers and actors – Rachel Fabri and Joseph Zammit, produced by the Masquerade Group. After that it’s panto season, and the Manoel panto starring Edward Mercieca promises to be a real laugh. Over Christmas I will be taking part in the Comedy Knights again – a sketch show parodying all the goings on of 2015. It stars Thomas Camilleri, Marc Cabourin, Colin Fitz, Pia Zammit and Chris Dingli, and is supported by Costa Coffee. I can’t wait for that!
Are you a theatre buff who prefers the sunnier climate of Malta over London or New York? The Radisson Blu Resort St.Julian’s in Malta your home base while you take in the amazing performances!