Acclaimed playwright Edward Bond to pen play for Maltese theatre

Unifaun Theatre and the Manoel Theatre collaborate in the unique initiative, which will involve Maltese actors and premiere in Valletta in April 2016

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic
26 June 2015, 7:39am
Edward Bond (left) with British director Chris Cooper at St James Cavalier, Valletta in 2013. Photo by Joseph A. Borg
Edward Bond (left) with British director Chris Cooper at St James Cavalier, Valletta in 2013. Photo by Joseph A. Borg
The Manoel Theatre and Unifaun Theatre Productions are pleased to announce the World premiere of Edward Bond’s new play The Price of One which was especially commissioned by both entities. The first performances will be at the Manoel Theatre on 8, 9, 10 April 2016.

The Price of One will be jointly produced by Teatru Manoel and Unifaun Theatre Productions and is supported by the Malta Arts Fund Large Project Fund. It will be directed by Chris Cooper, who will also lead a Q&A session after each performance of the 70-minute play. It will feature a cast of Maltese actors.  

This is the first time a playwright of international stature such as Edward Bond has been commissioned specifically to write for the Maltese theatre scene. The Price of One explores the theme of sanity and humanity in today’s consumer society.

Speaking to MaltaToday, Unifaun Theatre artistic director Adrian Buckle said that Edward Bond’s involvement came about after the prolific Maltese theatrical company staged a production of Bond’s play Olly’s Prison back in 2013. Bond flew to Malta to watch the production, and Buckle suggested that he write a piece exclusively for the Maltese stage. 

However, since Bond’s commission was “too high” for Unifaun to make good on by itself, Malta Arts Council chairman Albert Marshall intervened to get the Manoel Theatre involved. 

“And it was fitting that such a project be premiered at the national theatre of Malta,” Buckle said.   

Asked what the main aim of this collaborative experience would be, Buckle said that the idea would be for “Unifaun is to generate excellent new theatre for the Maltese islands and to bring international attention to our shores”.  

“We have great talent. I believe it should be paraded worldwide. This is a good exercise to do so. It is true that the play will be directed by Bond specialist Chris Cooper, who is British, but the cast will be made entirely of Maltese actors,” Buckle said, adding that the production could also potentially travel outside of Malta.  

“At the moment we are looking for ways to take it to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016,” Buckle added.  

Edward Bond, arguably the world’s greatest living playwright, started writing in the 1950s whilst still in the army and very soon after was asked to join the newly formed writers group at the prestigious Royal Court Theatre in London.  Since then he built a formidable career as a playwright, theatre director, poet, theorist and screenwriter. He has written over fifty plays as well as theoretical writings and academic letters on the theatre.  He has inspired a great number of contemporary playwrights and his writing has had such an effect that his 1964 play ‘SAVED’ is widely credited with bringing an end to Theatre Censorship in the UK.

Actors interested in auditioning are requested to contact Unifaun Theatre Productions Artistic Director Adrian Buckle by sending a recent headshot on [email protected]  Available roles include two female roles with acting age in their 30s, one male role in his 30s and one male role in his early 20s.  Following its premiere at the Manoel in April 2016, the production will head off to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a whole month in August 2016.

Booking for the play opens shortly at www.teatrumanoel.com.mt

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic is MaltaToday's culture editor and film critic. He joined t...