Five Reasons to See The Importance of Being Earnest at Malta’s National Theatre
Malta’s theatrical tradition is a strong one, with literary favourites among the myriad productions that are staged locally every year – often in English. This makes the island a popular destination for international culture lovers, giving them an added set of activities to enjoy while visiting.
Now, rehearsals are well under way for Teatru Manoel and the MADC’s revival of Oscar Wilde’s perpetually popular The Importance of Being Earnest, which will be staged at the national theatre at the end of the month.
Here are five reasons not to miss this!
1. Oscar Wilde himself.
Born in 1854 in Dublin, Ireland, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was a poet and playwright well-known for his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and numerous plays especially Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). He was greatly involved with the late 19th-century Aesthetic movement in England, while leading a prolific and colourful life which sadly ended in his imprisonment for homosexuality, and death at the relatively young age of 45.
2. The Importance of Being is Earnest has long been considered his best play
The play remains ‘Wilde-ly’ popular 125 years after its debut at the St James’s Theatre in London on Valentine’s Day 1895. The author was already famous for his mastery of the English language and sharp and amusing dialogue, but many agree that Earnest is the epitome of Wildean wit. The play’s numerous bon mots, its ‘dramatis personae’ of colourful characters, and the plot’s clever switches between the serious and the trivial, would go on to be an inspiration for stage directors and producers in the next 125 years.
3. It is co-produced by Teatru Manoel and the MADC – two of the most recognisable names in Malta’s theatre scene
Teatru Manoel is the hub of cultural entertainment in Malta, presenting quality artistic productions to its audiences while providing a perfect platform for Maltese and foreign performing artists. The Manoel has a long history of collaborations with the MADC, which is Malta’s oldest drama company, having been founded in 1910. In its 110 years of existence, the MADC has been at the forefront of theatre in Malta, and boasts an impressive list of productions in its repertoire – many a comedy, drama, pantomime, musical and Shakespeare have emerged from the club; as have many classics – The Importance of Being Earnest being but the latest.
4. A cast of Malta’s finest acting talent
This production of Earnest has brought together some of Malta’s most notable names in acting. The cast includes popular stage, TV, and film actor Davide Tucci, theatre stalwarts Maxine Aquilina, Edward Caruana Galizia, Michael Mangion, Isabel Warrington, Martin Azzopardi and Edward Thorpe, up-and-comer Michela Farrugia, and Marylu Coppini, one of Malta’s foremost comedy actresses. They are being directed by comedy writer, director, actor and all-round funny man Malcolm Galea.
5. No trip to Malta is complete without a visit to our National Theatre
Built in 1731, Teatru Manoel has a vast history behind it. This little gem of a theatre is one of the 15 most spectacular theatres in the world. Its nondescript façade belies the beauty that lies within – a showpiece of master craftsmanship and architecture. And what better way to appreciate its stunning splendour than to watch a show there!
The Importance of Being Earnest will be performed at Teatru Manoel on 31 January, and 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9 February 2020. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8pm, and Sunday performances are at 7pm. Tickets are at €10, €20, and €25, while discounted tickets are available for students and senior citizens. Bookings on 2124 6389 or via www.teatrumanoel.mt. Classification 12+.