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jeudi, octobre 06, 2005

First The Wordsmith

Having skipped a week in her erratic contributions to the journalistic institution that is the Times, Dame Lorna Potential Pulitzer Prize is back, this time in the guise of a theatre promoter. Last week, the Times carried a taster about a play written by the Pope John Paul II during the time he was known as Bishop Karol of Cracow. The promo stated that the play would be staged at the MLP transparency HQ in Hamrun (yes that Hamrun that is two roads away from the PN HQ in Piet� (and not Blata l-Bajda which is the road between the two)). Here is what that 7th September promo had to say about Lorna's role:

"Lorna Vassallo, on whose initiative the play will be staged, is confident that this year's choice will be as successful as last year's work by Alfred Sant - It-Tfal ta' Nikol Grixti - which attracted an audience of over 550."

So there you have it. Lorna is the brains behind the event. She is the Patron of the Arts in Labour house and will do her best to promote them as best as she can. So far so good, and allow me to offer three cheers for Lorna, for any such initiative should be lauded.

Today's Times carries Lorna's promotion for the event. It is a lovely read. Literary crit was always my favourite part of English Literature lessons during my 'A' level days (and this was more thanks to private lessons at Charles Caruana Carabez than any bungling buffoon at the College). Later on, when I started grooming my amateurish acting skills with the JC Productions troupe and then with MADC I also learnt the value of a good promo article.

Well, today's bit by Lorna is magnificently entertaining. Here are the snippets as per usual:

First the summary for the intellectually challenged� the ultimate synopsis to end all synopsis. Not of the play of course, but of the history of divorce in Malta. A historical roundup that would make Henry Frendo obsolete and Herbert Ganado sound like Enid Blyton:

"A Pope. A country. An issue. Issue addressed. Issue unsolved. Late Pope. Last country. Issue undiscussed. To be re-discussed. This could, in a few words, be a short description of the history of divorce in Malta." A writer� a grave case of verbal diarrhoea� an incomprehensible hodgepodge of non sequiturs. Issue an arrest warrant.

"�where the late Pope, then bishop of Cracow, tried his hand at writing the play under a pseudonym." There is the act of trying your hand at writing the play and then there is the act of deciding to sign it with a pseudonym. You do not put the two together otherwise it diminishes the meaning of the first act by implying that the sole purpose of writing the play was to sign it off (sic) with a pseudonym. 'To sign off' means to leave or to quit and not to put your signature on a particular place.

"whilst an obvious time-gap, especially to be catered for by the switching of actors (Rita Mangion, the mature Tereza)". Mind the Gap. It's in the head. Did you notice this new witty technique of showing that there is a time-gap in the play by introducing an older actor to replace the younger one? Oh the luck to be able to read the mind of a genius. Thanks for sharing the trick. Wink Wink!

"the play comes forth as teasingly thought provoking". Like an every other Thursday opinion article this sounds like an exercise in masturbatory foreplay. One would expect it to go forth and multiply. Teasingly thought-provoking? Like an FHM calendar with intellect?

"Mr Cristina whose surname is easily suggestive of his theatrical upbringing, will be live on stage adding yet another omnipresent character to the lives of the six other actors." Thank God he is not called Scriha� Now I know Norman (Cristina), a man of many colourful blazers and shirts in the TVM newscaster (Jiena nilbes Moyga!) tradition. I last saw him playing at a wedding of a friend of mine. Admittedly I barely had time to notice his godlike quality of omnipresence but then I do not have eyes all over the place. He will be live on stage (thankfully � though I guess she meant that he will PLAY live on stage) and will hopefully survive to the end of the performance. The six other actors (did I mention that on 7th September the Times promo read "a one actor play"?) have been given an extra life so it will be just that tad bit longer till we see the GAME OVER sign.

"It also interblends with the silversmith's extensive aura to produce the right ambience on a relatively modern stage where light stands out as the distinctive element." Fantastic. A Magimix. 'Interblends' dazzles me, 'extensive aura' has me performing a one-man standing ovation, 'relatively modern' has me stumped but 'light stands out as the distinctive element' is the fantasmagorical anti-climax (can I add Per Se?).

"Karol Wojtyla's couples who say but what their author made them say except for a few Polish words to be uttered by Stephen". Sliwowitz anyone? Vodka? Witamy, Witamy and Solidarnosc.

"Rated U the play is for a general audience and with Mr Gauci's aid a raw philosophical theme has been turned into a pleasant family universally-comprehended play. This notwithstanding the lack of space for manoeuvre to keep faithful to the late Pope's version. The director, himself fluent in Russian and having lived and experienced Eastern Europe to the full, and the assistant director, a charismatic young practising Catholic well versed in the philosophy of religion, complement the spirit of the text.

The play as it stands distinguishes itself both from Prof. Friggieri's publication and the 1990 film starring Burt Lancaster and Olivia Hussey."


Ouch. I am sure that by the end of it Prof Friggieri might want to distinguish himself from this universally-comprehended play too. I will not even attempt to tackle the "This notwithstanding" sentence above� thank God that the director (himself) is fluent in Russian* and that he is assisted by a charismatic (as in tal-karizmatici or as in full of charisma?) philosopher because I would have really worried what else could have better complemented the spirit of the text.

Do go watch this play if you can� and tell me how many Normans you can see!

*Incidentally Russian and Polish do not have much in common except the generic classification of being Slavic languages. See here.

1 commentaire:

Athena a dit…

I've been waiting for this all morning:-)