With 106 years in the theatre industry under its belt; there are very few that can do it better than the MADC. Having survived not only multiple location changes throughout the past century but also a bomb drop during the Second World War; The Malta Amateur Dramatic Club remains at the forefront of Malta’s theatre scene. The MADC is best known around the island for it’s side-splitting and visually spectacular Christmas Pantomime, the latest being 2016’s Un-Believe it! starring Alan Montanaro as the Dame, where families come together for a night of music, laughter and lots of Christmas spirit. Their other best known yearly appointment, is the annual Shakespeare production which takes place in an open air setting within San Anton Gardens. This tradition started in 1938 with the production of As You Like It, before being halted by the Second World War. The tradition was picked up again in 1950 with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was also around the late 1950s that the MADC opened its doors to local talent enabling them to nurture their theatre skills, something they still pride themselves on doing till this very day. Through this, they give chance to young Maltese actors to properly establish themselves in the Maltese theatre scene, as one could see with their recent play The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. She Stoops to Conquer is another perfect example of the goals set by the MADC.
Described as a timeless comedy of the 18th century, Oliver Goldsmiths’ She Stoops to Conquer is a play dealing with the themes of class, deception and appearance in a farcical and satirical manner. The play is directed by Malcolm Galea, a familiar name within the Maltese theatre community, who pitched the idea of showcasing this particular piece after he saw a recent production of it in the UK. Fascinated by the idea of producing a 1700s play in an 18th Century theatre, the Manoel Theatre board approved the concept.
The play itself revolves around the tremulous courtships of Upper Class English society in the 1800s. We see how a Mr. Hardcastle (played by English professional actor Stephen Oliver), a wealthy landowner in the country, desires for his daughter, Kate Hardcastle (Tina Rizzo) to marry the well-educated and wealthy Charles Marlow (Andre Agius). Kate is less than impressed with Marlow however and vows to never marry him. From then on in, as is typical of a play of this nature; comedy ensues!
Seeing that the The Yuppie is a journalistic endeavour directed towards university students, we asked how She Stoops to Conquer can appeal to the Yuppie audience. We spoke to the artistic director of the club; Marylu Coppini, who kindly obliged to our request with a very detailed and insiteful answer:
“This play can certainly appeal to a student/young adult;
First of all the play’s main characters are a group of young people dealing with young people’s issues! There’s the romantic theme dealing with how young Kate Hardcastle (Tina Rizzo) ‘Stoops to Conquer….her man’! She has to pretend she is a barmaid in order to win the aristocratic Marlow because of his shyness towards women of his own social standing.
There is also the wonderful character of young Tony Lumpkin (Joe Depasquale), whose vengeful tricks end up affecting the lives of the rest of the characters and whose desperate need to break away from parental over-protection in order to enjoy his independence can only be described as timeless!”
The play is brilliantly brought together by the likes of the young and bright talents of Tina Rizzo, Andre Agius, Joe Depasquale, Giulia Gatt and Gianni Selvaggi mixed in with the experience of Marylu Coppini, Stephen Oliver, Michael Mangion and John Marinelli and supported by an ensemble of new young talents.
She Stoops to Conquer is sure to provide you with an entertaining evening filled with timeless comedy and laughter!
The show runs at the Salesian Theatre from the 17th to the 19th of March, before transferring to the Manoel Theatre from the 23rd to the 26th March.
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