Pino Scicluna, icon of Maltese theatre, dies at 60

Maltese-Italian actor Pino Scicluna, whose career started with the Ateatru company, passes away

Pino Scicluna as Dun Salv, 'The Kappillan of Malta'
Pino Scicluna as Dun Salv, 'The Kappillan of Malta'

The Maltese-Italian actor Pino Scicluna, an icon of Maltese theatre, has passed away after succumbing to cancer.

Scicluna, 60, had married his long-term partner Katia Capato in December 2016. With Caputo he ran the theatre company Nuove Cosmogonie Teatro (video).

His last big role on stage in Malta was playing the title role in Il Kappillan ta' Malta in 2014.

He graduated in animal husbandry but he also obtained a diploma with distinction in dramatic art from the Manoel Theatre in Malta and started to work with Ateatru, the young theatre group which hosted artists Peter Busuttil, Michael Fenech, Domnic Said, Guzi Gatt, Anna Stivala, Alfred Buttigieg, Francis Ebejer and many others.


Ebejer himself wrote a play for Scicluna, Il-Gahan ta' Bingemma, with Scicluna playing the role of the Gahan.

In the 1990s, Scicluna went to Italy where he channelled all his energy into theatre, making it his profession. He worked as an actor with a number of Italian theatre groups such as Taeatro Studio Tre, TeatroInvito, Teatro La Ribalta, Teatro Inverso, Masnada Teatro, Erbamil and Scarlattine Teatro.

In Malta he worked on a number of productions, including Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus and a theatrical monologue about the actor’s father, who was interned by the English during the Second World War, directed by Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci.

In his 2012 production Internati u Deportati, Scicluna gave an emotional rendition of the events, from the humiliation which the internees went through during interrogation, through to their imprisonment at Fort Salvatore, Corradino and St Agatha Catacombs, followed by the departure of 48 of the group on board the cargo ship Breconshire on their way to Uganda.

With Peter Busutill as director, Scicluna also worked on Igsmaihirsa written by Oreste Calleja, on Samuel Beckett’s Nistenna lil Godot, and on Ghaziz Francis written by Marco Galea, a performance dedicated to Francis Ebejer.

Together with Katia Capato he produced performances on Caravaggio, Cheeta; Tarzan’s animal friend, Corto Maltese: The Ballad of a Maltese Sailor performed at Notte Bianca in Malta in 2010, and Gwerra, Familti. . . u Ommi, a monologue narrating stories of his Italian uncle which occurred during World War II, performed at the Malta Arts Festival in 2013.