Malcolm Galea: ‘I’ve pretty much done everything I hoped I’d get to do, anything else is a bonus at this point’

Playwright, actor, director and comedian Malcolm Galea tells all in our Q&A

Malcolm Galea (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
Malcolm Galea (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

Playwright, actor, director and comedian Malcolm Galea is in the middle of a full-on year. He has just taken his solo show ‘0.0031% (Plastic & Chicken Bones)’ to the Brighton Fringe and will next be starring in the Adult Panto ‘Snow White’ at Spazju Kreattiv. In September he’ll be directing ‘Caravaggio the Musical’ at the Mediterranean Conference Centre and at Christmas he’ll be returning as dame for the Manoel Theatre pantomime which he also writes.

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

Feed the cat before she meows the house down.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

I have two: “If you’re going to f**k up, f**k up with gusto.” Alan Montanaro, 2000; “There’s no ‘I’ in team – but there is in x’ala ż**i.” Marc Cabourdin, 2021

What do you never leave the house without?

I’ve often forgotten basic essentials like my phone, money and keys behind me so I suppose trousers is a safe bet. I’ve never left the house without trousers. Yet.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Agreeable, inappropriate, excitable.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Winning over Angele and holding onto her for 20+ years.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

It varies constantly. Right now, it’s MrBeast.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Love is literally everything.

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

It was a pair of sunglasses when I was 17. They cost Lm70 which was about half of my life savings at the time. When I wore them, I felt like Neo from ‘The Matrix’. Once I wore them on a rollercoaster and they fell off my face to land in a camel enclosure. I was no longer Neo. I was sad Malcolm with the sun in his eyes.

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

I wish I was half as confident as my own kids are.

Who’s your inspiration?

It varies constantly. Right now, it’s MrBeast.

What has been your biggest challenge?

I guess it’s making a living from working in theatre but I’ve had a tonne of support from my family.

If you didn’t work in theatre, what would you be doing?

Watching, wondering and wishing that things turned out differently.

Do you believe in God?

God the creator: absolutely. God the one who takes a keen interest in people’s habits, sex lives and dietary choices: not as much.

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

All my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I have a huge extended family and wish I had more time to spend with them – collectively and individually. The food would be made by Colonel Sanders.

What’s your worst habit?

That thing when you have a deadline in three hours and your brain decides that now is as good enough a time as any to read up on the monarchy of Tuvalu.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Super chatty.

Who would you have play you in a film?

I wouldn’t like to influence the casting.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Entitlement. I’ve been known to deplore some pretty entitled people in my time.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Sir Mix-A-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back’ – but like a sad cover version of it.

What is your most treasured material possession?

I’ve been keeping journals since I was 13, so probably those would be the first thing I’d save in a fire. Sometimes it’s enriching to read what you wrote a few years ago and realising what an idiot you used to be.

What is your earliest memory?

Going to the hospital to get my baby brother when I was almost three.

When did you last cry, and why?

A couple of weeks ago I was giving an acting class and I foolishly showed my students the trailer for ‘Coda’. I hid it well though.

Who would you most like to meet?

People I knew when I was a child and teenager that I’ve never seen again – either because they moved country or because I did.

What’s your favourite food?

Midnight chips from the Ħamrun kiosk right after a performance.

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

Probably Mario Vella. He’s pure ABZ and doesn’t try to sell you anything.

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

The past and the future both seem pretty scary to be honest. I think I’ll just stay put.

What book are you reading right now?

The Graham-Dixon biography of Caravaggio. Work.

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

Fartriloquism: It’s like ventriloquism but with farting. Imagine being able to fart whenever you like and make the sound came from someone at the opposite end of the room? I’ve given this matter a lot of thought.

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

I’ve pretty much done everything I hoped I’d get to do (anything else is a bonus at this point) so maybe help others do the same thing.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

My favourite song right now is George Ezra’s ‘Anyone for You’.

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

In the bathroom I’m usually going through dialogue but on those increasingly less common occasions when I go for a run, I listen to ‘Shum’ by Go_A. I hope they’ll be able to make more music soon.