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Is-Salib tal-Fidda - new TV series on Super One

The tragic love story of Xandru and Rozina, the characters in the classic Maltese novel Is-Salib tal-Fidda, will be brought back to life tonight in a new television series on Super One television.

Many fondly recall reading the book by the Dominican friar Henry Born in their secondary school years and the television series is expected to revive many memories.

The novel, a real tear jerker, was also read more than once by Charles Arrigo over the Rediffusion cable sound system.

Is-Salib tal-Fidda revolves around the lives of Xandru and Rozina, two lovers who came from different walks of life - one a rich but unspoiled town girl who lived with her father, the other a young fisherman who eventually became an orphan.

The characters of the story are natural and belong to the realism of the years, when the islands were poor yet conscious of the needs of others.

The story also puts an accent on Christian values with the well-being of all around being of paramount importance. Criminality did not pay.

Despite this, the classes still lived on separate planes with many a sad story of feuds resulting from different levels of access to comfort and wealth.

The television production, which kicks off tonight on Super One at 8.45 p.m., is in the hands of Audiovision Productions Limited and will be spread over 26 weeks.

The television production is in the executive hands of Charles Xuereb while Godfrey Smith is directing and post-producing the episodes for Audiovision.

The main parts are in the hands of Ray Calleja, who will play the role of Xandru as a young man and Sarah Camilleri, in the angelic role of Rozina.

The younger characters of Xandru and Rozina will be entrusted to Josef Laferla and Rebecca Galea. Other parts go to Josephine Mahoney, as Gerit; Marvic Cordina as Karmni and Ronald Saliba as it-Tabib Pawlu Zammit.

Etienne St John will play the part of Bertu, the third link in the love triangle that emerges later on in the plot.

Patricia Mahoney is the mysterious old nun, while Frederick Camilleri, the author who penned the screen scripts inspired by this classic novel, is the humble carpenter.

Other characters include Tony Cassar Darien, Joyce Cassar, Josette Ciappara, Peter Borg, Sandro Vella (also production secretary), Karmenu Vella, Karen Magro, Vanessa Cassar, Bernardo Riolo and Guido Fenech.

May Vassallo is wardrobe mistress for this costume-rich drama, while Anton and Jackie Farrugia have been entrusted with the make-up.

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