Middle class misery knows no boundaries | Lino Farrugia

We speak to theatre director Lino Farrugia, who’s currently heading a Maltese-language adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s black-comedy of errors ‘Le Dieu du Carnage’ (L-Alla Tal-Qirda), which was adapted into a Kate Winslet-starring released earlier last year.

From left: Jes Camilleri, Charlotte Grech, Shirley Blake and Kris Spiteri take on a Maltese translation of Yasmina Reza’s hugely popular play ‘Le Dieu du Carnage’.
From left: Jes Camilleri, Charlotte Grech, Shirley Blake and Kris Spiteri take on a Maltese translation of Yasmina Reza’s hugely popular play ‘Le Dieu du Carnage’.

God of Carnage has proven to be a popular play: both on stage and when adapted for the screen. What do you think a Maltese-language production brings to the table?

It will bring in a Mediterranean element. I have adapted the play to take place in Malta. Other countries adapted the play to their country. And there is a logical reason for this. The play is so international in concept that one can add a touch of home to an international concept of so many various subject the brilliant writer presents to the audience. It will hit home in any country. And in Malta it will have a Mediterranean touch that is so becoming that audiences will relate to, understand and applaud.

The play depicts two couples from very specific cultural backgrounds. Do you think a Maltese audience will be able to identify where they're coming from?

The characters are like any members of the upper-middle-class anywhere, which really is the same all over the world. One is lawyer (we are proud to have lawyers that have even served in international courts...) and the other male husband is a businessman who sells all sorts of things (like toilets seats and flushing). And when it comes to the ladies - one is a wealth consultant (there are some brilliant ones in Malta) while the other is an art lover and a philosopher... hang on, we don't have that may of those, actually, do we!?

READ MORE: Carnage - Film Review

How has the cast been taking to these often less-than-likeable characters?

The cast are doing an incredible job... going out of their way to search for the soul of what the writer intended. They are sharp in their understanding of the characters, and hate themselves each time we run through the play... but remember... there so much fun in the play and the comedy element is so astute and ridiculous that it is unnerving.

How would you describe the atmosphere between the cast (and crew) in the run-up to the play?

The crew, Frank Tanti, Frank Attard and Margret Andrews, the secretary to the production Marlene Lanzon, and sound man Alec Massa... you can put them on any stage and they will deliver. These people have been involved in theatre for many years, and they are truly enjoying themselves this time around.

What has the dynamic of the cast been like during rehearsals, and why do you think this particular selection of actors was adequate for the roles?

Because I managed to get a brilliant cast: Jes Camilleri, Charlotte Grech, Kris Spiteri, and Shirley Blake, that understand each other, a cast that is sharp on the uptake, a cast  that delves into the play and  unite to contribute the best and the utmost to a brilliant work. They just become what the role demanded... a bit of the systems and a lot of the Method. With Stanislavsky thrown in for good measure.

 Alla Tal-Qirda continues at St James Cavalier this weekend (November 9-11) from 20:00. The play is rated 15. Tickets are at €15. Bookings: [email protected], 21 223200 or from the St James Cavalier website.