A Maltese play, “Dear Pete,” was performed by Studio 18 between the 2nd and 4th November at the Salesian Theatre. This was the second production of the play, the first one being last February at Spazju Kreattiv. The audience was greeted by the cast prior to the show, who interacted with them in character, instantly bringing everyone into the atmosphere of Pete’s world, giving us a general idea on what to expect from this performance.
Long story short, the show is about a young boy called Pete, who had to deal with losing both his parents and is trying to cope with living alone at the tender age of 10. However, Pete always believed that he had people to help him, his neighbours taking special care of him to ensure his safety and survival.
One day, a storm breaks out and together with this storm comes a new character which changes Pete’s perspective of everything that is happening to him up to that point. This character is a sick dog which was actually a puppet brought to life by Laura Buhagiar, Francesca Fenech, and Andrew Micallef, who also act as the narrators of this story. The dog acts as a means of Pete reflecting on everything that is happening around him and finally helps him realise that he is never alone and should never have a reason to feel lonely because at the end of the day everyone will always have a star to look up to in times of need.
The entire show was extremely interactive, aimed for kids to help them engage more with the story and therefore help them to reflect on the morals of the story as well. On one of the pages of the program, there was “A Note On Grief,” which targets both children and adults alike on dealing with grief – as it explains it in such a simplistic manner that acceptance of said grief seems tangible. This creative and highly enthusiastic cast was led by the title character Pete played by Benjamin Abela, who not only captured the innocent and eager aspect of childhood but also conveyed the frustration of feeling abandoned and alone especially at that characters age.
The difficult part about this performance however is that because of the amount of talent of the entire cast it is too difficult to single out one performance from those who helped to make this stellar performance. In this case it is only fair to mention the rest of the actors who commemorated this production, Brendon Thearle, Denise Perini, Lara Aguis, Luke Abela, Katya Azzopardi, Daniel Formosa, Martina Cuschieri, Gianluca Mifsud, Nicholas Gambin, Alex Weenink, Victoria Gatt, Lara De Gabriele, Aidan Aquilina, and Annalise Ebejer.
There was also a band playing throughout the performance, 4 young Maltese musicians, Andrew Scicluna, Stephen Scerri, John Cutajar, and Aleandro Spiteri Monsigneur. Another aspect of the show that I liked was that the band was also participating at some points throughout the performance, which added to the effect of a united cast of youths.
A special well done goes to the director Jean-Marc Cafà as well as all those on the Creative and Production team, and Studio 18, as without their dedication, this performance would have never been able to become a reality, which is an excellent way to help children and adults alike cope with the most common negative feeling one could go through, grief.
I feel that I can properly express myself through my writing, and that it's a great way to make myself heard, so that I too can someday make a difference in this complicated world.