Lucienne Camilleri: ‘I’m a resilient perfectionist... and an addictive theatre-goer!’

Artistic director and scriptwriter Lucienne Camilleri tells all in our Q&A

Lucienne Camilleri
Lucienne Camilleri

Artistic director and scriptwriter Lucienne Camilleri will be directing Manoel Theatre’s first ever in-house produced musical, the infamous tale of Sweeney Todd. Camilleri is a literature enthusiast responsible for all the scripts and artistic direction of Arthaus’s (formerly DLS Productions) A Case of Cabaret, Belliegħa, Carmen, and A War to End All Wars. A trained dancer in ballet, modern jazz, Spanish flamenco and Eastern dance, she has contributed to theatre as an actor, dance captain and choreographer in various productions, including the operettas at the Manoel Theatre under the direction of George Micallef and Joe Izzo.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Pretty much turn over to sleep again.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Look forward, never turn back.

What do you never leave the house without?


Pick three words that describe yourself

Tough… I’d say a resilient perfectionist, an addictive theatre-goer and a passionate believer in dreams.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Bringing up my children.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Watching Spanish TV series with the excuse that it’s to improve my Spanish.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

We are absolutely nothing without family and friends.

Property and cars aside, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

I make it a point to get others to buy me expensive gifts – it doesn’t always work out.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

That I actually do enjoy teaching.

Who’s your inspiration?

People, people from all wakes of life, people who are as interesting as they are complicated and, in their complexities, I find inspiration.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Understanding that sometimes the way I look at things isn’t necessarily the right way.

If you weren’t a director what would you be doing?

Travelling the world and learning as many languages as I possibly can.

Do you believe in God?

I believe that we all need to believe in an entity that exudes a peace of mind and encourages us to lead good lives.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Maggie Smith and/or Meryl Streep.

What’s your worst habit?

Stuffing drawers and cupboards with anything I feel is cluttering a room. So so bad!

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I’m no fun I only ever get tipsy then… I talk... and talk... and talk... and…

Who would you have play you in a film?

Angela Lansbury.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Selfishness and an asinine stubbornness of thinking we are rarely wrong.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Les Misérables’s ‘One day more.’

What is your most treasured material possession?

My iPad.

What is your earliest memory?

The comforting smell of my maternal grandmother.

When did you last cry, and why?

Last August when my youngest son performed the lead role at his end of year Masters programme at the Royal Academy of Music… but don’t tell him.

Who would you most like to meet?

The present Pope.

What’s your favourite food?

Pasta – hands down!

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Julie Andrews.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

Back to the Victorian era.

What book are you reading right now?

A gentleman in Moscow.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

The ability to extinguish famine and illness. We can all dream, right?

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Dance tango in its streets.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Sondheim, Sondheim and more Sondheim

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Doors and windows tightly sealed, I love to sing songs from musicals.