Saturday, 28 October 2017

Laugh? Yes please!

Copyright DanielM Photography
DLS Productions has in the past excelled at presenting musicals, a walk-through play and other projects that include even summer courses in anything from puppetry to Maltese text to choreography.

Last weekend's comedy was no less interesting than all the past events as seven actors took to the stage to present Laugh? I nearly went to Miami!, a comedy by Miles Treadinnick, directed by Lucienne Camilleri with the assistance of Maria Agius and produced by Yandrick Agius.

The play followed Tom (James Camilleri) and fiancée Alice (Nicole Piscopo) as well as Tom's brother Barney (Neil Grech) and his date for the night Muriel (Nicola Mangion), Alice's Auntie (Laura Cornelius) and gangster Frankie (Thomas Grixti), in a comedy of errors full of banter and miscommunications that are resolved at the end by the appearance of Inspector Hendy (Kyle Mangani), who arrives on the scene to solve the case.

Copyright DanielM Photography
I have been to several plays over the years, be it musical, drama or comedy, but I have to admit that this was by far the best comedic interpretation I have seen. From the robust periodic set that served many purposes throughout the various scenes, to the perfectly articulated English and superbly timed phrases, the play was a joy to follow. My good impression was further enhanced when, after the show, I came across the actors off the stage and realised they were youngsters, most of them still in their late teens or early twenties.

It ran for two nights in competition with The Phantom of the Opera and yet the theatre was full for the two hour live show I attended. In fact I think it was rather a pity that it ran for only two nights and when there was a big musical to contend with. Truly, it was a show that had me begging for more so I must admit that Laugh? had me in stitches of laughter throughout.

Copyright DanielM Photography

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

On Daphne CG's Death

I was in Valletta when I heard the news. Even as it spread slowly to all the people in this country and even trickled abroad, I saw what I presumed to be lawyers standing about in clusters of suits around the city, already deep in discussion, aware not only of the repercussions of such news but of the significance of such an atrocious act in a civilised country of the EU.

On Monday the 16th October in the early afternoon, wife and mother Daphne Caruana Galizia published her latest blog entry and set out from her home in Bidnija. Only minutes would pass till the car she was driving blew up in an explosion so powerful that it was hurled ‘tens of metres’ away.

As a journalist she went out of line at times, she jeopardised jobs including my own on one occasion and she definitely could use a pen viciously when it suited her. Some loved and others hated her, unfortunately because of their bias towards one political party or another more often than not. However, she was a journalist at the end of it, and a good one too, not a criminal. The one that happened on Monday afternoon was no deserving murder, though certainly a vindictive one. Do not get me wrong. I am pro-life to the point that I do not believe in such permanent retribution even for the lowliest of people and any victim of such a heinous crime would deserve respect in life if lucky enough to escape the blast still alive, else in death should he/she succumb. But to purposely sabotage the life of a writer just to silence her else to pay her back for using her right to free speech, is to shock this nation that relies so heavily on sympathy and hospitality and a united front.

Whoever planned the attack sought to silence a voice, but succeeded instead in making thousands of others use their own.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Single Motherhood: On A Timer
I managed to take my bath in peace this evening, without my son shouting "Muuuuummmmmm" from the other room. However there was a reason to that. He actually put me on a timer. I am not kidding. I coaxed him into letting me get away from his room to the bathroom for a quick bath and said I'd be done so quickly my bath would take five minutes. So he grabbed the old mobile phone with the dying battery that he's just inherited from me and decided to make a timer for... exactly five minutes! I complained, saying it would take ten for me to get to the bathroom, undress, take the bath, towel dry and get back into some clothes. So as you might have guessed, the timer started ticking from exactly ten minutes and rang just as I put my specs on after getting into my PJs. Ah, the speed with which you do things when you are a mum!

Pre-mummyhood I would have been shocked to hear anyone relate what I just said above. Pre-mummyhood I would also have said many other things that are now obsolete in my books. Such as that as long as you make it a point that your kids are to behave, they will, at least in public. Haha, say that one again?!

I was a very quiet obedient child who only ever complained on two occasions: bedtime or if we ever went as a family to Sliema. Don't ask about this last, I have no idea why the small me hated the sea-side tourist town with such a passion. But all in all, I would do as I was told and found it very hard to accept that my own little one was never going to be as pleasing as I'd been. So every day for the rest of the days till he realises it is actually embarrassing for him to do so, he will drag out any mealtime (even McDonalds) and drop his pencil multiple times ("Did you see that fall mum?") whilst doing his homework, it will take him approximately five minutes to hear me as I repeat, "Put on your shoes," in the morning and over an hour to settle down in bed in the evenings. So let's use the timer if it helps me get my well-needed five mins soak and soap.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Does Money = Love Then?

I was meant to write this post probably over a year ago but had totally forgotten about it till I came across a first draft. Although the introductory "A while ago" has now been changed to "Quite a while ago" it remains nonetheless a current post to write. I wrote it, though not in the heat of the moment, the same week that the episode in question happened, as far as I recall. I was pretty upset about the issue, although unnecessarily so I know, and to this day I would still like to give my take on the subject.

So, quite a while ago, I was in a supermarket when my son went up to an ageing man and excitedly showed him a new toy I had given him. The man's first words were, "See how much your mum loves you!" I know he meant it in a good way and was nice enough to listen to my child and talk to him, unlike some people who just brush him off. However, it is a pity that this person, and most of the rest of the Western World, tag love with gift-giving rather than what truly counts.

Would I have been a lesser mother had I not afforded to get my son something that was not really a need? I can understand that with love comes responsibility and I would never dream of, say, not getting my son something he needed for school or health reasons. Even a mother who can't afford those things will go out of her way to find the means to give them to her children anyway. But to suggest to my son that my love for him is proportional to the number of toys and knick knacks I've bought him over the years is a mentality that many unconsciously adhere to and one which is, I hope, incorrect.

I cannot figure out how and why people connote the two (gifts and love) together. That would be like saying that no Third World mother loves her children enough for providing them with no expensive toys and gadgets, or that a father is less of a father if he provides payments on an apartment rather than a villa for his family.

I really think we should be getting our priorities straight. Yes, a better standard of living is always welcome if achievable and it is a joy to watch a child open a much-desired present at Christmas. However let us not mistake gifts for love or love for gift-giving as they are really, truly, unrelated.

Hearts credit
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Presents credit
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Sunday, 1 October 2017

Laugh? I nearly went to Miami!

Registered voluntary organisation DLS Productions creates theatrical concepts and productions by the community and for the community, with auditions open to the general public, yet boasting members and committee members that are now big names in theatre.

Starting out as a Sixth Form initiative at De La Salle College, the theatre group eventually outgrew the limitations of a school setting, becoming an organisation in its own right. Over this summer its committee organised workshops called ‘Intensive Performance Workshops’, which were held at Palazzo La Salle in Valletta and from there, the idea for their current project was born.

Copyright DanielM Photography
For DLS Productions is now back with a new show. Following last year’s jukebox rock musical Belliegha Rockin’ The Underworld, it is time to turn to comedy as a group of seven actors take to the stage to present Laugh? I nearly went to Miami! for the first time in Malta. Penned by Miles Treadinnick and directed by Lucienne Camilleri, assisted by Maria Agius, it is a play that relies on comedic timing, banter and interesting visuals, that make it a treat for adults and kids alike.

The fast-paced comedy of errors is set in the eighties where we meet Tom (James Camilleri), who is an Elvis fanatic, and his fiancée Alice (Nicole Piscopo). Together they intend to fly to Miami for an Elvis Convention but the flight gets cancelled due to fog. Arriving back at Tom’s flat, they realise they have picked up the wrong suitcase back at the airport and are now in possession of  half a million dollars. Meanwhile they have walked in on Tom’s brother Barney (Neil Grech) who is trying to seduce his date Muriel (Nicola Mangion). Soon Auntie (Laura Cornelius) and Frankie (Thomas Grixti) both arrive with a bag containing $20,000 and it is Inspector Hendy (Kyle Mangani) who finally sorts everything out.

Sharp humour and miscommunication are the order of the day in this live performance in English, happening at Teatru Salesjani in Sliema on the 20th and 21st of October.

Tickets can be bought from or through phoning 79848788 and cost EUR12 and EUR15.

Copyright DanielM Photography