Living the dream | Thomas Camilleri

Actor Thomas Camilleri speaks to TEODOR RELJIC about taking on the role of Freddie Eynsford-Hill in FM Theatre’s upcoming production of the beloved musical My Fair Lady – taking place in early February at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta

Maxine Aquilina as Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady
Maxine Aquilina as Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady is a popular musical that continues to enjoy plenty of “cultural coverage” all over. What convinced you to participate in this particular version, and how do you hope your cast and crew will make it fresh and unique this time around?

It’s a classic and everyone loves it. On The Street Where You Live is the song that Freddy sings and it was the first audition song that I learnt. So when I finally had the chance to audition to sing it in the full musical I jumped at the chance. Plus, working with Maxine Aquilina, Denise Mulholland, Edward Mercieca and the rest of the cast is a dream!

 

Can you tell us about the character you’ll be playing, and are there any traits of his you’ll particularly enjoy embodying?

Freddy is such a hopeless romantic and not terribly lucky with his pursuits! His comedy comes from his being so dazzled by Eliza. He’s writing letters to her and hanging outside her door – nowadays he’d be slapped with a restraining order!

Thomas Camilleri
Thomas Camilleri

 

What do you make of the local theatrical scene? What would you change about it?

We’re so lucky here. People often ask me if I miss acting in London. With such a massive audience and, as a result, huge budgets, shows there will obviously be larger and of a higher quality but we’re so close here without even being full-time. I feel so lucky to have gone from Ernest and the Pale Moon in November to The Comedy Knights in December to this and next on to Mamma Mia in April without stopping for breath. The variety here is so rich that you can spend your entire season in rehearsals with occasional stops to perform the actual shows. It makes it so much fun, constantly working on new material.

 

What’s next for you?

I’ll be playing Sky in Mamma Mia in April followed by a long break. Mamma Mia is such good fun, I’m sure audiences are going to love it!

My Fair Lady, adapted from ‘Pygmalion’ by Bernard Shaw with music by Frederick Lowe and book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, will be directed by Denise Mulholland for FM Theatre productions, with musical direction by Kris Spiteri and choreography by Emma Loftus. The show will be staged at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta on February 2, 3 (20:00) and 4 (15:00, 19:30). The rest of the cast includes Maxine Aquilina as Eliza Dolittle, Tony Edridge as Henry Higgings, Edward Merceica as Col. Pickering and Alan Paris as Alfie Doolittle. Bookings:
mcc.com.mt

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