Let’s talk about sex | Steve Hili

Radio personality Steve Hili takes to the (intimate) stage at Splendid, Strait Street, Valletta with Sex Confessions of Maltese Man – a show that does what it says on the tin, with puppets in tow courtesy of Sean Briffa.

Steve Hili (left) and puppeteer Sean Briffa.
Steve Hili (left) and puppeteer Sean Briffa.

The show seems like a no-brainer idea... in that it's surprising nobody has ever thought about it before. How did you hit upon it?

It is a no-brainer. Once you pop (as it were) you just can't stop! It all started when I was living abroad and I had a conversation with some friends about how a girlfriend I once had used to draw very random lines when it came to us being intimate. This was a very surreal time for the young horny Steve when certain... ahem... things were fine, but others were very definitely not. These things did not follow any rhyme or reason but were just... her rules. And there I was... utterly confused by it all!

A little while later I had another conversation during which I reminisced about how I used to compare notes with my school mates about the girls who were on Colpo Grosso the night before. How we used to watch it every night without any of our parents finding out and how it dominated our thoughts for years! Apart from those, a visit to a certain cinema in Valletta gets a mention. As does the time a pimp threatened to shoot me, oh and an offer I once got to do some very strange porn.

A few conversations and anecdotes-about-growing-up-in-Malta later I realised that I had a show! The thing is, if you take a step back and think about it, growing up in Malta can be hilarious!

After I wrote it, it took a while for me to find the correct form for it, but after chatting with the immensely talented puppeteer Sean Briffa, we decided that a madcap piece of theatre whereby the protagonist acted out all his confessions with puppets playing the other characters would be a great way to tell our stories! Also, it is interactive: the audience will be asked to fill in an anonymous questionnaire beforehand and stats about the sex lives of the people watching will be revealed during the performance!

What, would you say, is particularly 'Maltese' about this show?

The stories. All of them are true and if you are in or around your thirties, you can definitely relate to most of them. From the Maltese 'personality' I had a crush on when I was 12, to the first time I tried to buy condoms, to finally getting it on in my car.  While these are my stories, if you grew up in Malta, you may well see yourself in the tales we tell!

Are you banking on the 'rudeness' to sell the show?

No. Of course, the show talks about sex. But rather than being about sex it is a look at guys growing up in Malta and yearning to... well, to get it on! It is not a family show and yes it will be rude and outrageous at times (because that is what the growing male mind is like!)

Think a Malta-in-90s version of The Inbetweeners or American Pie. With a bit of Avenue Q in there. That is our show.

How did the puppets get involved, and how can we expect them to form part of the monologue?

All the anecdotes are acted out by me with the puppets. The puppets play the different characters in each of the scenes. There is even a puppet Steve who gets in on the mix. They are working very hard to learn their lines. Sean is very strict with them.

Are you optimistic that the show will attract a wide audience abroad? How do you hope to go about exporting the show?

I think it can. Alternative, fringe theatre is becoming much more mainstream. Fringe festivals themselves are huge business. People want different things from their shows. And that is where we come in. We are offering edgy, sometimes silly, alternative comedy. Sex Confessions of a Maltese Man is currently on a waiting list of a major European fringe festival. The script was very well received so... fingers crossed!

Inquiring minds would like to know: did you dredge up some of your real-life memories as material?

All the stories are based on true events. All of them happened. And all of them happened to me.

The show will be playing over June 6-9 at 20:00. Tickets at €10 can booked from St James Cavalier: https://ticketengine.sjcav.org/,
21 223200 or via email through [email protected]

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