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teatru malta: the theatre
We speak with Teatru Malta’s artistic director Sean Buhagiar, who offers some spoilers about what the 2019 programme had in store for audiences across the Maltese Islands
The National Theatre company launched its first programme just last year (in 2018); an ambitious programme, which saw no less than 12 fully-fledged shows, produced and performed all over Malta. The company rose to the occasion and continues to exceed expectations, in its attempt to create all inclusive theatre for all audiences.
A growing concern for Buhagiar is that theatre or rather, the interest in it, is facing stiff competition when put up against millennial technological distractions.
How does Teatru Malta make their audiences commit to them? How do they prove that committing to theatre is at the core of the absurdity of being human? What is the role of theatre today?
Sean asks himself such questions every year, whilst acknowledging that nowadays, having an audience commit is a greater responsibility than ever before. What’s more, theatre is meant to be both meaningful and impactful.
The 2019 programme deals with political history, feminism, teen violence and group behaviour, the childish, the macabre, alienation and conformism, said Sean.
“If you’re 8 years old, 16, 29, 45, or even 88 – we should have something for you to enjoy.”
The programme’s content is varied, but Sean assured us that whether it be children watching their classmates perform in a production as part of the colourful Trikki Trakki Youth Theatre Festival, the contemporary musical theatre VII or Ruben Zahra’s unconventionally macabre touring show Min Hi?, every part of the programme is a highlight in its own right.
In 2019, Sean also directed an adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ cult classic, Larinġa Mekkanika, which was adapted for a teen audience with a Maltese translation by Wayne Flask as part of the year’s ZiguZajg Festival.
The project delves into the main themes of Clockwork Orange, a piece of writing laced with juvenile delinquency and youth gangs, as well as other social, political and economic issues.
Such are topics that must be discussed, mostly amongst the youths themselves, says Sean. Therefore, this is the opportune platform to inspire said discussion.