media interest in local theatre unfortunately seems unable to focus
on what to a playwright seems the most obvious aspect of this vital part
of our culture: Maltese indigenous drama. Though historically the
Maltese language is extremely young and it should not therefore come as
any surprise that Maltese playwriting is still basically in its
infancy... nonetheless, a European Malta can take its rightful
place within the Union with some pride due its otherwise respectable
cultural accomplishments. This notwithstanding, it is appalling to
assert, going on to fifty years of Independence that our “established‘ Maltese
theatre season bears all the trappings of a colonial hangover. A
Maltese drama season is still a concept that does not even enter the
minds of our cultural powers-that-be.
Policies notwithstanding, we flounder on regurgitating foreign drama.
Like other colonialistically handicapped cultures, we too suffer the
cultural cringe that castrates any attempts at self-assertion and
self-exploration. A culture that does not know itself is seriously
handicapped. At this rate we cannot expect to break new ground or go
beyond the boundaries in which we blissfully hibernate.
there was more indigenous meaningful original drama thirty years ago
than there is now. Pluralism has given us quantity and opportunity but
definitely not quality. Theatre, drama as an art form, as a way of life,
escapes many would be a participant who handles well the craft, but not
the art. The status quo is
a recipe for self-indulgence.
Is anybody listening?
The Cultural Supplement
March 7, 2003
OTHER WRITINGS RELATED TO LOCAL THEATRE TO BE FOUND IN
What is a writer's theatre?
A writer's theatre, "a place where the dramatist is acknowledged as the
fundamental creative force and where the play is more important than the
actors, the director, the designer"*
...and more important than the playwright himself.
the first artistic director of the English Stage Company
and the man who chose John Osborne's Look Back in Anger for its opening
season in 1956.