When the audience is advised to wear practical footwear, you know you’re not in for a regular theatre-going experience. Theatre Anon’s production Ospizio, part of the Malta Arts Festival (3- 23 July), is certainly not a routine, seated affair to doze off to in the summer heat.
The audience is invited to follow the action, on the move on location in Malta’s old Ospizio – a building dating from the time of the Knights that took in society’s needy and acted alternately as hospital, hospice, asylum, orphanage and more. Ospizio is an original work commissioned by the Malta Arts Festival and devised by Theatre Anon, a company renowned for pushing the boundaries – Malta’s own ‘Théâtre de Complicité‘ if you like.
Ospizio is also a good example of how the Malta Arts Festival is highlighting the islands’ unique historic backdrops by matching productions and venues for dramatic and artistic effect. And showing how old, disused buildings can find new lease of life with the creative arts.
About the Production: ‘Ospizio’
Theatre Anon, in their most ambitious project to date, has created a fascinating tale; one that is spectacular, magical and hilarious, as well as touching because the story may reveal not only the history of the Ospizio… but also perhaps tell us something about ourselves.
Follow Magda on her journey. Meet Paolo Passionei, who was Malta’s longest-serving Inquisitor, and his secret mistress and their two daughters; the mad Mayor; the Monsignor; the heartthrob lawyer; Madam Sylvie, gatekeeper to the land of the forgotten; Di and Do, the perfect incompetents; Milly, the cranky old woman; Rozita, who summons ghosts whenever she sings; and Pandora who leads the Chorus of the Forgotten. Passionei’s life is just one of the many fascinating events we come across during Ospizio.
Theatre Anon’s multilingual story is a fictional one, inspired by the site’s colourful history and the intriguing characters that inhabited it. The audience is invited to embark on this journey with Anon’s large cast of actors, dancers, singers and The Big Band Brothers.
Ospizio is designed by Pierre Portelli, and Theatre anon has also collaborated with writer Clare Azzopardi on the project.
‘Ospizio’ runs in Floriana on the 5, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 14 July as part of the Malta Arts Festival 2010.
Tickets are available from www.maltaticket.com or from any of the following outlets in Malta and Gozo: Exotique, Agenda, Vodafone, Bookends and Newskiosk.