Advert

Time for more porn

The cast of Porn The Musical gets together for a repeat production.

The cast of Porn The Musical gets together for a repeat production.

Malta’s sell-out, award-winning musical porn will return to its roots for another bout of laughter in August. Jo Caruana chats to scriptwriter Malcolm Galea to catch up on all the news from this local success story.

A few years back, it would have seemed unheard of that Malta could become known for its association to porn. But, technically, that’s exactly what’s happened.

Of course, the porn we’re referring to isn’t the industry itself, but the laugh-a-minute musical that was penned by scriptwriter Malcolm Galea, and which initially wowed audiences locally in March 2009 at the MITP in Valletta.

Porn the Musical certainly proved itself to be a first for Malta. It is a show that was originally written and produced locally, that went on to transfer to London via the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. There it received several positive reviews from notable publications such as Time Out London and The Spectator. It also won the Off West-End Award for Best New Musical in 2011.

“In Malta the tendency is for internationally-successful shows to be performed here using local actors,” explains Galea, while talking through the show’s journey so far. “In our case, by starting off with an original show that had enough momentum to go international, we effectively reversed the trend.”

The fact that Malta features prominently in the show (the main character is Maltese and the story takes place between Malta and New York) brings the musical’s origins to the spotlight. “However, there are many talented artists in Malta and I have a feeling we’re in for a slew of many more firsts in the years to come,” he says.

Galea himself has done very well since Porn. He has built his reputation as a scriptwriter by penning a huge variety of productions, including several Christmas pantomimes, the comic Dingle Bells, Malcolm Smells and last year’s Id-Dlam Taħt it-Teatru.

These days he is busy performing his More or Less Theatre series of plays for schools, tourists and festivals, and working on the script for his first comedy movie Nieħu Lilek, as well as writing and directing this year’s MADC Christmas pantomime Merry Poppins at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre.

Nevertheless, Porn remains very close to his heart and he is keen to develop it further and further. Hence the upcoming production.

“When you work on something for a long time, you grow a certain attachment to it,” says Galea. “I, along with the show’s composers Kris Spiteri and Bors Cezek, and producer Winston Azzopardi, have been working on Porn for almost six years now. It’s a mixed bag of feelings since the further along it goes, the more we realise that there’s much more to do.”

In fact, Galea says that the next production of the show isn’t really a revival, but the next step in its development. As with any play, there is a lengthy development process to go through, wherein the production is slowly tweaked until it reaches the stage where it becomes about as good as it’s ever going to be.

The next production of the show isn’t really a revival, but the next step in its development

“Just to give you an example, the musical Annie was originally produced daily for a month before the song Tomorrow was added in,” says Galea, adding that bigger countries often provide the luxury of being able to perform a show over and over again to different audiences.

“This would enable you to perfect it slightly every day,” he says. “Of course, in Malta, we can’t do that since, as things stand right now, your audience would be used up after eight or nine shows. With this in mind, if Annie was to have been written and first produced in Malta, it would have likely been a Tomorrowless show!”

In the case of Porn, the team has now produced it in one form or another for almost 70 shows, and they believe they’re close to having an outstanding production. However, before jumping to any conclusions, they feel it is necessary to unleash it onto the public once again. After that, they plan to tour it to more festivals, and there is even talk of a future film.

“In every production of the show we’ve made changes to the script and songs,” Galea continues. “For the festival version we reduced the length of the piece as well as the duration of most of the songs. For the full-length London production we kept the reduced length of the songs but played around with the script in its original running time.

“A lot of the things we added worked, whereas others didn’t. For the upcoming show we’re retaining all the elements that worked, dropping those that didn’t, and adding some new things too.”

Fans of past editions of the show will be pleased to hear that the popular original cast will be performing in it this time around too.

“It’s now five years later and we didn’t dare hope that everyone would be available, so we planned to hold auditions,” says Galea. “But we did offer the original cast first right of refusal and we’re so grateful that they chose to juggle their lives to fit this in. When we got together for a first read-through, it was an electrifying experience. They also know the characters inside and out so rehearsals are much easier.”

And already, there are hilarious anecdotes to share from this Porn-enveloped process. “Only last week we were going through our dialogue while sitting outside a bar in Strait Street,” grins Galea. “One of our cast members is physically incapable of whispering, so every time some salacious subject came up in the script, we had to endure the unwanted curiosity of passers-by. I can only imagine what’s next.”

Porn The Musical will be performed from August 22 to 24 at Pjazza Teatru Rjal, Valletta. Tickets are available online.

www.ticketline.com.mt

Advert
Comments not loading? We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox with javascript turned on.
Comments powered by Disqus  
Advert
Advert