Students’ Fest is currently in full swing in Sir Temi Zammit Hall, with yesterday being the opening night of 2018’s edition; The Non-Committal Little Mermaid. In fact, this is the tenth edition that is a full-blown performance. Prior to these ten editions, though Students’ Fest had followed a different format and had been more in the style of a talent variety show. It was only in 2009, that Nerissa Pace and Matthew Paris from KSU’s Culture & Entertainment Office took the bold decision to turn the 26th edition of Students’ Fest into a full blown performance, based on a musical. In honour of this weekend’s performance being the tenth Students’ Fest in this performance, we take a look back at all the previous performances.
2009 – Ommi Ma!
Glitz, glam and all the razzle dazzle that anyone would need. 2009’s KSU Students’ Fest was an adaption of the hit musical Mamma Mia! which had just burst onto the scene throughout the previous year. Led by Nerissa Pace and Matthew Paris who held posts in the Culture & Entertainment Office of KSU throughout that term, the new musical based format for Student’s Fest proved to be a great hit and it had students jamming out to ABBA classics such as Voulez Vouz, Honey Honey, and Dancing Queen.
2010 – Robin Hood
The second edition of this format was based on Robin Hood. With the Culture & Entertainment Office now occupied by Neil Ferris and Samaria Bezzina, the performance was given more of a pantomine feeling with the intention of providing laughs throughout the show.
2011 – Oh My Grease!
With Stephanie Soler and Mario Cachia now at the helm of the Culture & Entertainment Office, the musical Grease was chosen as the inspiration for Student’s Fest in 2011. Oh My Grease! took the audience to Rydell High, and a cast of over 150 students brought the show to life. This performance was also the first time in a number of years that a live band, also made up of students, was used throughout; a part of the show that is still key to this day. Karin Decelis and Keith Zammit provided the lead vocals in what was described as ‘a terrific show with astonishing harmonies’.
2012 – Glame
2012’s Student Fest combined the cult classic musical Fame and the popular TV series Glee, to create Glame. The KSU Culture & Entertainment Office was no occupied by Sara Ellul and Simon Mifsud, with production being in their hands. Tezara Camilleri played the leading female role whilst up and coming names in the arts such as Francesco Catania and Martina Farrugia both starred as well. The show dealt with a couple of students who loved the arts and yet did not feel like they belonged anywhere else other than the stage. The message sent across through the performance was that everyone should be accepted for who he or she actually is.
- 2013’s edition took inspiration from the all time class, The Lion King; but added in a Maltese twist, as the title shows. Zoe Farrugia and Ryan Grech controlled KSU’s Culture & Entertainment Office and were responsible for the production of the performance. The show starred over a hundred students, with notable names such as Gianni Selvaggi, Stephie Soler and Sean Borg, who have since all made a good name of themselves in Malta’s theatre scene and Gayle Lynn Callus, who went on to serve within KSU for two terms.
2014: Hercules – The Legend of Citta Di Nanza
With Gayle Lynn Callus now in the Culture & Entertainment Office along with Luke Azzopardi, Students’ Fest saw Hercules fulfilling The Legend of Citta Di Nanza; a legend that is no doubt in reference to the controversial Maltese passport scheme that had just been introduced at the time. Matteo Depares played the lead role as a team of over 200 actors, musicians and production designers brought the production to life and transported the audience back to ancient Greece and on a tragic and yet comedic journey.
2015: Beautie & the Beast
2015 saw the tale as old as time be adapted to the stage of Sir Temi Zammit Hall. Beautie & The Beast is widely seen as one of the landmark performances over recent years, with praise for it coming from far and wide. Produced by KSU’s Culture & Entertainment Office, which at the time was made up of Rebecca Camilleri and Steve Sammut Alesi, the show once again consisted of over 200 students in various roles, such as cast, crew and band. Michaela Fenech and Thomas Camilleri led the way as Belle and and the Beast respectively whilst they were flanked by Andre Agius as Lumiere and Luke Cucciardi as Cogsworth. Warren Bonello who is now a well-know name in the field of dance was the dance captain for the production, whilst Carly Zarb and Caroline Dimech co-ordinated the cast’s snazzy dance moves.
2016: Is-Sister Act
Preparation for 2016’s Edition was handled by the Culture & Entertainment Office which was now made up by Steph Dalli and Gilli Amato Gauci. The choice of the production for this year was quite unexpected; with the production team steering clear of any Disney related films, which had provided inspiration for the previous three Students’ Fests, and instead opting for a film; the 90s classic Sister Act. The production featured over 300 students, a record amount up to this point. Centering around Delores and her fellow nuns, Is-Sister Act brought a number of broadway hits to life to make sure it was indeed All for Nun & Nun for All.
2017: Sai Mulan
Sai Mulan was another phenomenal edition of KSU’s Student Fest. With Denis Muscat producing for the Culture & Entertainment along with Steve Zammit Lupi, who formed part of the same office, and a great team of co-ordinators; the show proved to once again be a resounding success. Gillian Asciak, Kurt Rizzo and Matthew Galea led the crew along with Luca Gatt who was responsible also for painting the set, a responsibility he had also taken up during Beautie & the Beast two years prior. Carly Zarb and Kimberly Lowell were the dance coordinators, whilst Yorika Attard as singing co-ordinator also made sure that for the first time, Students’ Fest featured an original song, titled ‘Fight the Feeling’. Monique Dimech Genuis played Mulan whilst Ilenia Gatt, who played Pegasus in Hercules, was her dragon side-kick in the form of Mushu. With some of Disney’s most famous scenes and a brilliant battle scene to boot, Sai Mulan was another brilliant addition to the history of Students’ Fest.
2018 – The Non-Committal Little Mermaid
2018 will be the tenth year of full performances done for Students’ Fest and it promises to be just as much a blast as the prior editions. Mattea Gouder plays Ariel, whilst Jean Claude Scicluna plays the charming Prince Eric. They are flanked by Neil Cutajar, playing the squawking seagull Scuttle, Kyle Mangani playing the Jamaican inspired crab, Sebastian and Luke Vassallo playing Flounder. The show is produced by Harley Mallia and Luke Abela from KSU’s Culture & Entertainment Office, and brought to life by coordinators Celine Bartolo, Elle Borg, Andrea Baldacchino, Carly Zarb, Rebecca Camilleri Pace, Tamsin Cauchi, Daniel Galea and Mike Borg. Special mentioned also must go to Andre Micallef, who has formed part of all of these productions by co-ordinating the lights and visuals that are essential to the show. Bookings are still open, but get moving quickly; the show is THIS weekend! Tickets can be bought HERE.