Oops!... I’m not a virgin anymore | Thomas Camilleri

Actor Thomas Camilleri speaks exclusively to MaltaToday about his upcoming stint in the highly-anticipated revival of My First Time – a play about virgins being deflowered in a variety of ways

Thomas Camilleri: “My favourite one out of all of the stories is the one that involves a young man doing odd jobs as a teen and a MILF”
Thomas Camilleri: “My favourite one out of all of the stories is the one that involves a young man doing odd jobs as a teen and a MILF”

It wasn’t long ago that Thomas or, to those who know him, ‘Tom’ Camilleri was on the West End stage. In fact he’s had stints in both Legally Blonde between 2010 and 2011 as the hilarious Carlos, and in Les Miserables, during which he was filmed for a concert with Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle for ITV.

“It was bloody amazing,” exclaims Tom, referring to his acting jobs on the West End as a whole. “It was also pretty hard, as you’re constantly working on your craft, whether that’s going to singing or dancing lessons, or networking and meeting potential employers.

“What many may not realise is that it’s quite a fleeting and fast-paced environment: you’re auditioning for your next job while you’re in the current one. But, when you’re in work and the job is rewarding and challenging, it’s definitely thrilling… To put it simply, getting onstage in the West End gave me a nightly rush that never subsided.”

Once you start getting to know Tom, it also becomes obvious that he is a man of many talents. Indeed, on top of acting all over the UK and Europe, Tom has also worked in Fashion PR in London and, since moving back to Malta some two years ago, he’s worked with the brand and design agency, Switch. He is also very funny on Facebook, with followers looking forward to his observations about Malta and the Maltese.

Locally, many of you may remember him from his parts in the Masquerade Theatre Company’s All New People or in Noises Off, or even in TAC Theatre’s The Comedy Knights: 12 Months of Funny.

Now, he’s about to return to the stage in the revival of My First Time by TAC Theatre, a play that, in 2009, had people rolling in the aisles with laughter.

For those unfamiliar with the storyline of this salaciously hilarious play, well, it’s both easy and somewhat complicated to explain it. It’s a play made up of numerous first-time sexual encounter stories from actual people… These stories, which were added anonymously to a website in 1998, are funny, cringe-worthy, scandalous, and sometimes unbelievable. And this year, the directors and producers have added stories by locals, too, which should make it that much more fun.

“The play’s made up of short stories and punchy one-liners from hundreds of people who have written about their first times on www.myfirsttime.com. The script, however, like all scripts written about the newly-emerging web, dated fast,” explains Tom when asked about why they decided to tweak the now-legendary work of Ken Davenport.

“That’s why we’re working on version 2.0, if you’d like. We’re making it more relevant and updating the situations so as to hopefully increase the comic factor by bringing it closer to home.”

With the play encompassing many stories from many eras and people, Tom will be playing a myriad of characters in this one: “God, there are so many!,” he jokes. “I love a challenge, though, and jumping from one character to another – language, accent and all – is great fun.

“All of this, I think, also means that there’s something for everyone – at least something for everyone to relate to,” he continues. “We have stories from people who popped their cherry during the Great Depression of 1937 all the way to a crummy hotel in Buġibba in the 1990s.

“My favourite one out of all of the stories is the one that involves a young man doing odd jobs as a teen and a MILF [Mother I’d Like To… You get the drill],” he continues. “I’m also dusting off my Beppe character, who’s a proper Edwardian and loves throwing in a Maltese word ‘l hawn u ‘l hemm – you know how I mean, ay?”

All very titillating stuff, indeed! But, considering that virgins will be allowed to go in for free to this play – we’re not making this up, but terms and conditions do apply – we wondered, how rehearsals for such a fun and funny show were going for Tom.

“I love working with new directors; each one has a very different approach,” he tells us. “Marc [Cabourdin] was a hoot to work with on The Comedy Knights, though we couldn’t be more different. As a director he’s put his serious hat on and is really putting me though my paces. We’re all working hard on it!

“Honestly, though, I think the funniest thing is that Jo [Caruana] and I are definitely the tamer of the four [the other two being Joe Azzopardi and Naomi Said]. All we want to do after our long days at work is curl up with tea, whereas Joe and Naomi are definitely wilder… But variety is the spice of life after all!”

Indeed it is, Tom, and it’s also the spice of My First Time, which was sold out six years ago and, with such a stellar and uproarious cast, as well as with Wesley Ellul and Marc Cabourdin as directors, there’s a high chance that it will be this year, too.

What makes this play oddly enticing more than ever before, however, is the fact that there are stories from locals – some of whom may be sitting next to you on the actual night!

So come on, grab a ticket and prepare to be… [Is ‘aroused’ a good word to use here?]

My First Time will be on at The City Theatre in Valletta on 23, 24 and 30, 31 October, and again on 1 November. Tickets for Opening Weekend all cost €10, while those for the second weekend start from €10. Virgins do INDEED go in for free, but Terms&Conditions apply