Pregnancy comedy is next in line for Stagun Teatru Malti

Written by Simon Bartolo and directed by Sean Buhagiar, Habbilini ha Nirbah will be performed at the Manoel Theatre

Teenage pregnancy will be the theme for Stagun Teatru Malti's new pulled-from-the-headlines play
Teenage pregnancy will be the theme for Stagun Teatru Malti's new pulled-from-the-headlines play

Stagun Teatru Malti’s 2016 season opens at the Manoel, on February 12, with Simon Bartolo’s new play Habbilini ha Nirbah. The title and the poster – featuring four pregnant school girls, that has irked some and made others chuckle.

“We try to offer as varied a menu as we can,” said Mario Philip Azzopardi, STM’s executive producer.

“Controversy is not the only staple in our repertoire. We presented, comedies, drama, horror, nostalgia, satire etc. All of them had one thing in common – the Maltese experience – in all its forms, warts n’all. If we are going to talk about ourselves, in an intelligent, adult, way, then we have to have the guts to look into an uncompromising theatrical mirror, fashioned by socially committed artists who aren't afraid to challenge perceptions, to question taboos, and to unmask hypocrisy wherever they find it,” Azzopardi added.

Remember the story about those four girls who bet who’d get pregnant first by a young man they all were in love with? Well, that was the starting point for Bartolo’s script. Director Sean Buhagiar, who also directed the Bartolo-scripted ‘Jiena Nhobb, Inti Thobb’ said that Bartolo’s dialogue is “current, fiery, and unapologetic”.

“There is no limit to his acute sensitivity of what constitutes Maltese reality. It’s all there, as honest and unabashedly uncompromising as ever. I’d be loathe to call this a comedy. Yes, sure there is lots of laughs but the play goes beyond the ‘funny’ to delve into themes that lead to very serious outcomes.

"Simon takes issues we are reading about on current media and creates a story which cracks you up and wrecks you at the same time. The play springs from local sensationalistic stories, about teen pregnancies, misguided youth, discombobulated parenthood, to paint a not so happy picture of alienation and decadence. The subtitle says it all – Fejn Fallejna? (‘Where did we go wrong?’),” Buhagiar added.

The cast includes: Monica Attard, Narcy Calamatta, Josette Ciappara, Carlos Farrugia, Vince Micallef Pulé, Antonella Axisa, Marceline Galea, Lorriane D’Ugo and Jean Pierre Cassar. The four girls are being played by Kim Dalli, Daniela Carabott Pawley, Mariele Żammit and Shelby Aquilina.

The show will be performed at the Manoel Theatre, Valletta on February 12-14, 19-21 at 20:00. There will be additional 15:00 shows on February 14 and 21. Bookings: