My essentials: Mark Mifsud’s cultural picks

111 | Mark Mifsud, 39, theatre, TV and film actor

1. Book

As a new theatre season approaches, my reading inevitably shifts towards play scripts, rather than books, including any research literature that helps my preparation.  Specifically, my two main reads right now are Lovesong by Abi Morgan and Hedda Gabler by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen; both of which I’ll be performing soon.  Lovesong is the story of an elderly couple living their last days together, intertwined with glimpses of their younger selves, exploring the evolution of their relationship and the individuals within.

2. Film

A recent film I saw that left me buzzing for days was The Fountain, a 2006 film by one of my favourite filmmakers, Darren Aronofsky.  I consider this to be a truly balanced masterpiece across all the elements of filmmaking. The plot is captivating, with a non-linear narrative that seamlessly spans three distinct eras.  The acting is impeccable.  The visual design is astounding with light design used as a powerful aid to narration and special effects created with clever use of rudimental techniques, rather than relying on CGI.  The soundtrack is a piece of art worth listening to on its own.  As you can see, I can’t stop praising this film to this day!

3. Internet & TV

Although I’m always scrolling through some kind of online content, I don’t particularly like the world of social media. I do not follow any specific influencers and don’t really have an active presence on these platforms. However, I must admit that I often find myself spending (wasting?) hours on Wikipedia, reading through topics of general interest about anything that grabs my attention. Every article spirals me to delve deeper into related topics, often forgetting what I started reading about in the first place!

4. Music

A bit of everything. I don’t have a favourite genre of music, or a genre I dislike in general. In fact, I would typically listen to songs from a vast range of musical genre and styles, if the song is good. From rock to dance, to R&B to jazz… if it’s a good song, I’ll listen to it.  Having said that, I do have a soft spot for pieces that showcase prowess and talent from the musicians. And with the advent of new technologies (and our misguided use), I am afraid we are moving towards a world of artless artists who have nothing to say or cannot inspire. A world where talent, creative ability, hard work and artistry no longer matter - the death of music, in other words.

5. Place

With my wife and I both being history buffs, our travels usually lead us to places of historical significance… cities like Rome, Cairo or Athens. But if you had to ask me where in the whole world I’d rather stay, right now I would answer “home”. My acting work has taken me away from my family for quite a while in the last few months. So, I’m really longing for some quiet family time at home, with my wife and kids.