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THE DEVIL IS AMONG US - AND HE'S GAME FOR A LAUGH!

Tags:   Going out,   Comedy,   Theatre,   Promotion

By The Swag Team   -  February 06, 2015



IX-XITAN KUNJOMU MALTI (The Devil's Surname is Maltese) is being staged at the Manoel Theatre for the final time over this weekend. With a title like that, you'd expect it to be scary, and it is. So how come they’re also selling it as a comedy? Because it's also funny. Hilarious, in fact.

 

The premise is as follows. A young Scottish girl is “possessed” by the devil. That’s the scary part. Her father, and an eminent Scottish psychologist bring her to Malta because during her “convulsions” the girl spews out obscenities that they have identified to be in MALTESE! 

 

That’s where the fireworks start. It turns out that there is an ulterior motive to all the demonic shenanigans… she was to be brought to Malta to meet with another possessed victim in order to give birth to… the Antichrist. And that’s only the beginning. The Devil himself is brought forth from the depths of hell to officiate during the “conception” of the prophesised antihero, which is where the comedy is derived from.

 

John Suda, in the part of the dark lord himself, takes centre stage in what is, probably, one of the highlights of this year’s theatrical season. The devil takes over, stops the play and addresses the Maltese audience, chiding, ridiculing, and warning them of dire consequences unless “they return to the warm embrace of the church” which, according to him, they have abandoned. The logic here is that unless people return to the faith, there won’t be anyone left he can turn into sinners. Rampant sarcasm, scathing satire and a spat of horrendously vulgar language dot the proceedings, which could may be offensive to some members of the theatre going public.

 

“It’s nothing you don’t hear on a normal day in our streets,” says play author and director Mario Philip Azzopardi. “There is a lot more to the play than a few vulgar lines. The story features a solid plot, about love, duty, faith and ultimately, sacrifice. There’s lots of humour involved, which is incidental, because ultimately the play turns on itself to lead the audience into the realm of tragedy. What I like doing is experiment with clashing both genres, comedy and tragedy, together, forcing to cohabit the stage at the same time.”

 

IX-XITAN KUNJOMU MALTI, with Roderick Vassallo as the doubting exorcist, Marvic Cordina, the victimised Mother Superior, and Mikhail Basmadjian, the atheist psychologist, are all part of a powerful cast, including Paul Portelli, Polly March and young Jamie Cardona. The crucial part of Clara, the Scottish girl, is in the hands of newcomer Shelby Aquilina. Look out for her name: this is the birth of a new Maltese star whom we will be seeing for a long time to come.

 

The play is on at Teatru Manoel on Friday 6, 7, 8 and 9 February. Booking is open at the theatre box office or online at www.teatrumanoel.com.mt or by calling 2124 6389.


A promotional clip for the play.




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