Boys just want to have fun | Adrian Buckle

Unifaun Theatre producer Adrian Buckle speaks to us about the company’s revival of Trevor Zahra’s Minn Wara Z-Zipp, a ‘cabaret-cum-stand up comedy routine’ about that most obtrusive of organs: the penis.

Adrian Buckle on Trevor Zahra (centre): “He is the greatest author this country has ever seen”
Adrian Buckle on Trevor Zahra (centre): “He is the greatest author this country has ever seen”

What is this play about in a nutshell?

Minn Wara Z-Zipp is about the Male figure, with a capital ‘M’. It is about all that is male. It is about that thing that makes us male. It is about the penis.  In fact, we originally wanted to call it Il-Monologi taz-Zo** or The Penis Monologues.  We decided against that title for marketing reasons. Trevor Zahra got the idea while viewing the excellent Vagina Monologues directed by the very same Chris Gatt who is directing Minn Wara Z-Zipp.

In Minn Wara Z-Zipp we meet young Redeemer Farrugia and follow him from birth to infancy to adolescence, to falling in love to masturbating over teen sex symbols to talking with priests to First Night to old age and the blue pill. The production then shifts to explore the phallic symbol over the years and to exploring different men in how they are affected by their sexuality. Finally we meet the penis himself for a hilarious finale. 

In a nutshell, Minn Wara Z-Zipp is a couple of hours of pure fun where truths about the male sex are discussed. It is a cabaret-cum-stand-up comedy routine.

What would you say is behind its enduring success (and what inspired you to stage it again)?

The secret behind its success is without doubt Trevor Zahra’s writing. That combined with Chris Gatt’s direction and the versatility of the actors, makes ‘Zipp’ a production not to be missed. Trevor is, in my opinion, the greatest author this country has ever seen. He writes tongue-in-cheek but makes you reflect on the truth in his words. He has a singular streak of writing that others do not match.

Will there be substantial changes from the original version? What kind of changes will you be making?

This time round we are making ‘Zipp’ funnier, better and bigger. It will be in two acts instead of one. The stand-up comedy routine will be given a cabaret treatment and we are including a band.

In fact, Yan, Myles and Maria from the band Milk Mi will be joining us on all five performances and will play songs they have adapted themselves to the lyrics of Trevor Zahra. Zahra has also written some new monologues, so there is fresh comedy and a brand new style.

What kind of point does the play make about Maltese masculinity?

I don’t think that ‘Zipp’ tries to make a point. However, if there is a point, it is that the male sex is afflicted with the same doubts and insecurities that haunt the female sex. Most of the characters in ‘Zipp’ are just trying to get laid, some successfully, some not. Others get laid when they shouldn’t get laid. Some do not know what they want. Others are facing the consequences of getting laid.

How did the Maltese audience react to the play’s depiction of sexuality, and do you think the relaxation of censorship will make the production any different? 

The depiction of sexuality in ‘Zipp’ is done comically. Everyone accepted it and laughed their heads off. The stringent censors in 2008 gave the production an 18 certificate, which we think is too restrictive. We are therefore relaxing the rating to 16.  After all, which school leaver has never discussed sex before?

Minn Wara Z-Zipp will be playing at Temi Zammit Hall, University campus on October 11 and 12, 17-19. The play is rated 16. Tickets are at €20, €16, €12 and €10. Bookings: