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Mario Philip Azzopardi at Hotel Phoenicia

Playwright and international TV producer Mario Philip Azzopardi was hosted to a reception by Hotel Phoenicia, Floriana.

Mr Azzopardi is in Malta to stage his comedy Sulari Fuq Strada Stretta at the Manoel Theatre, today at 7.30 p.m. The play was banned in 1977 by local censors and theatre authorities on the grounds that it was too offensive. Due to this, Mr Azzopardi left for Canada where he established himself as an international film producer and director.

"Since then, staging the Sulari Fuq Strada Stretta in Malta has always been brewing in my mind. It is now taking place thanks to the change in atmosphere on the island and the encouragement and co-operation received by the Manoel Theatre management," remarked Mr Azzopardi. Before working with the Atturi Theatre Group, he directed Ġaġġa. The film was transferred to digital format, enhanced, and re-released in Malta last March by Studio 7.

When Mr Azzopardi returned to Malta in the late 1990s he spearheaded the creation of Maltese Falcon Productions plc, a state-backed film fund to promote the creation of the local film industry. In Canada he set up a television production company called Sulari Productions.

Sulari Fuq Strada Stretta is a comedy set before the outbreak of World War II in an old Valletta palace where the last three members of a Maltese aristocratic family live on the top floor. They dislike each other. Then, a young man comes into their life who seems to be playing to their needs for some ulterior motives. Each character represents a different part of the elite and stereo-typical members of society.

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