The Malta Arts Fund
An old theatre remembers. Stories from the past brought back to life.
The Gżira Project is an immersive community theatre experience that tells the hidden stories of the women who worked behind the scenes at this theatre until they were eventually allowed on stage with the men in the seventies. We take our audiences on a tour of the back-stage rooms of this historic old building and hear both factual and fictional fragments from the lives of the women who sewed, painted, fed and brought up the next generation while their husbands, fathers and brothers acted on the Teatru Salesjan stage.
Through real-life stories, actual events and experiences we have traced the history of this unique ‘island’ in the busy centre of Tas-Sliema. Working with performers who are both descendants of the original theatre-workers and some who are also entirely new to the area we have created a wholly original piece that is as much a visual feast as a piece of new home-grown Maltese drama. Our cast is international, from Germany to South America and covers an age-range from 7 to 75. Over the past three months we have gathered together at the Teatru Salesjan to train, learn new skills and prepare ourselves to tackle this project under the direction of London-based theatre director Antony Gardner. This performance will also include contributions by Leanne Ellul - winner of the Francis Ebejer Award for new writing and experimental electronic artist, composer and musician Renzo Spiteri, amongst others.
As a community we have grown from twenty people to thirty to close on forty individuals each volunteering their time and their dedication to make a new piece of theatre happen. Through song, dance, laughter and the spoken-word we will take you on a journey that is the result of many hours listening to old stories, swapping experiences and learning truths that are both particular to this tiny area and yet also universal to audiences everywhere. We journey from the late nineteen-forties to the present day through rooms and areas of the theatre that are usually hidden from a regular audience.
The Gżira Project is performed in both Maltese and English, with performances happening on the 20th, 25th, 26th & 27th May at 20:00hrs and 21st & 28th May at 15:00hrs. Each performance will host a total of 60 audience members, so booking is important. Tickets can be purchased through www.ticketline.com.mt. This performance is immersive, therefore audience members will be taken through the different rooms of the theatre. We regret this show is not wheelchair accessible.
The Gżira Project is being produced by the Salesian Oratory and is being organised with the financial support of Arts Council Malta by means of the Malta Arts Fund.