When smut becomes you | Marc Cabourdin

Theatre director Marc Cabourdin speaks to us about TAC Theatre’s upcoming production of Andrew Goffman’s The Accidental Pervert, a one-man show starring Malcolm Galea about a man who develops a porn addiction after discovering his father’s stack of adult movies at age 11.

Malcolm Galea takes the lead as the 'accidental pervert'
Malcolm Galea takes the lead as the 'accidental pervert'

What do you think audiences respond to in TAC Theatre productions?

With TAC Theatre we are trying to develop a brand that is synonymous with a certain type of theatre. Not distinguishing drama from comedy, though creating a stylistic approach to theatre that allows the actor and narrative to shine. A‘no-frills’ approach. Where the audience is not affected by the razzle and dazzle of a set or high-tech production values, but by the artaist’s work; by the soul of the piece. We keep things simple and ask questions of our audience. 

You’ve more or less said that The Accidental Pervert fills a comedy-shaped hole in this year’s roll-call of theatrical productions. But exactly what kind of humour can we expect from the show?

Up until a few years ago the lion’s share of the theatrical season would have been comedy. Steadily, drama is claiming its rightful place, and as with everything, balance is required. So when [producer] Wesley Ellul and I started thinking in terms of a season, we always wanted to expand our repertoire with different genres of theatre that fit our remit and vision, for what we believe theatre ought to be.
The Accidental Pervert is a laugh out loud comedy, peppered with very poignant moments. It is not your typical old school piece, as it works more in the sitcom way of things. It is truthful in the way that it investigates the character’s situations and obstacles, through his extraordinary circumstances.

What kind of skills do you use as a director when you direct comedy as opposed to drama? What takes priority?

My mantra is specificity and precision. That is true to both comedy and drama. In each genre one must always create tension and release. If one follows and studies Shakespearean text, one sees that the Bard left us with the perfect blueprint for theatrical dramaturgy. In essence, it becomes the role of the director to shape and mould the narrative, to the sensitivities and context of the piece and his audience.

What would you say makes Malcolm Galea suitable for the lead role?

Malcolm brings something that every actor ought to bring to the floor: complete selflessness. His charm, vulnerability and comic genius make him a joy to watch. His subtle and nuanced performance is truthful, bold and brave. 

With films like Thanks for Sharing and Don Jon appearing on the scene, do you think that porn is losing its taboo as a theme for comedy? How are you tackling the subject in the play?

I wouldn’t say so, as it depends on how you are presenting and tackling the issue. It would make any subject redundant, if all one does is make issues out of taboo. And that is not the theatre I am interested in, as we are a decade or so late in that regard anyway. 
It is all about context and presentation, whatever the medium. In the Accidental Pervert, porn is the backdrop to the character’s journey; say, like a soundtrack. So one gets to tackle the issue in a different way. In fact the theme of the play is not porn, the vehicle is comedy, the currency is truth, and the theme is... well, you’d have to come and watch to get to know that.

The Accidental Pervert will be playing at St James Cavalier, Valletta tonight and June 13-15. Tickets for tonight at are €10, €15 for the rest of the shows. Bookings: [email protected], 21 223200 or by logging on to https://ticketengine.sjcav.org/

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