Unifaun – Teatru Mod Ieħor (A Different Kind of Theatre)

Enjoy a comprehensive 600-page bilingual book about the Theatre of Unifaun Productions, one of Malta's leading Theatre Companies, including production photos by Darrin Zammit Lupi, Joseph A. Borg and Christine Muscat Azzopardi, reviews by Malta's leading reviewers, set designs by Romualdo Moretti, and essays on Theatre by Brad Birch, Chris Gatt, Marcelle Teuma, Dave Barton and Chris Cooper amongst others.

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Project Description

MALTI

Miġbur minn Adrian Buckle

Editur: Trevor Zahra

Unifaun Theatre Productions hi kumpanija tat-Teatru li twaqqfet f’April 2005 u għalqet il-bibien tagħha f’Marzu 2019.  Kient imwaqqfa minn Adrian Buckle li dejjem serva bħala Direttur Artistiku tal-kumpanija.  Tul is-snin li damet imwaqqfa, Unifaun ipprezentat lill-pubbliku Malti bi produzzjonijiet teatrali li kienu innovattivi u li kissru kull taboo teatrali li kien hemm fi zmienha.  Bizzejjed ngħidu li fi Frar tal-2009, Unifaun ħabtet diffrejha mal-Bord taċ-Ċensura ta’ dak iz-zmien u spiċċat b’kaz il-Qorti Kostituzzjonali ta’ Malta u mbagħad quddiem il-Qorti Ewropea kontra Stat u Knisja biex jittella’ d-dramm ‘STITCHING’, li kien mizmum milli jintwera lill-pubbliku Malti mill-istess Bord taċ-Ċensura.  Kienet din il-battalja legali li waslet fi tmiemha ċ-Ċensura tat-Teatru.

Dan il-ktieb, li se jkun bilingwi (Malti u Ingliz) se jkun maqsum hekk:

  1. Jibda Trevor Zahra, bħala editur tal-ktieb, jagħti analizi ta’ dak li għamlet il-kumpanija u għaliex tali ktieb huwa importanti.
  2. L-ewwel parti se tikkonċentra fuq kif Adrian Buckle fetaħ il-kumpanija Unifaun, x’waslu għal ftuħ tagħha, x’ispirah u għaliex ried jiftaħ kumpanija oħra meta hawn diġa’ tant kumpaniji tat-teatru fuq ix-xena lokali. Se jesplora l-karriera ta’ Buckle mal-MADC, qabel fetaħ il-Unifaun u x’ġiegħlu jiftaħ din il-kumpanija.  Fl-aħħar, dan il-ktieb se jesplora wkoll l-influwenza tal-kittieb Britanniku Edward Bond fuq ix-xogħlijiet ta’ Buckle u fuq l-għazliet tiegħu.
  3. Fit-tieni parti tal-ktieb se naraw analizi dettaljata ta’ kull produzzjoni li tellgħet il-Unifaun, bid-dettalji tagħhom kollha, inkluz, dati, ritratti, diretturi, atturi u teatri li fihom inħadmu l-produzzjonijiet. Dawn se jkunu mehmuza ma reċensjonijiet ta’ kritiċi teatrali bħal Dr Paul Xuereb, Andre’ Delicata, Jes Camilleri, Teodor Reljic, Kenneth Zammit Tabona u oħrajn.
  4. Fit-tielet sezzjoni se nagħtu ħarsa lejn il-battalja legali kontra l-Istat u l-Knisja rigward il-Liberta’ tal-Espressjoni u ċ-Ċensura teatrali. Naraw kif, għalkemm il-battalja qamet minħabba li l-Bord taċ-Ċensura zamm il-produzzjoni ‘STITCHING’ milli tintwera, il-battalja kienet tmur iktar fil-fond minn hekk.  Fil-fatt, darba ntrebħet il-battalja, ġiet fi tmiemha ċ-Ċensura Teatrali u Artistika.  Naraw dan ukoll minn dokumenti, sottomissjonijiet u digrieti mill-Qorti Kostituzzjonali ta’ Malta kif ukoll mill-Qorti Ewropea.
  5. Wara dan se jkun hemm numru ta’ essays, xi wħud bil-Malti u oħrajn bl-Ingliz dwar l-effett li ħalliet il-kumpanija Unifaun fuq ix-xena teatrali lokali.
  6. A)  Jibda Chris Cooper, direttur minn Birmingham, b’essay li jġib it-titlu TAKING THEATRE TO THE EXTREME.  Dan  se jħares lejn il-filosofija teatrali ta’ Edward Bond, li tant kellha influwenza fuq Unifaun. Fil-fatt tista’ tgħid li l-filosofija ta’ Unifaun kienet ibbazata kompletament fuq kliem Edward Bond.B)  Fit-tieni essay, L-EFFETT TA’ UNIFAUN FUQ IT-TEATRU MALTI, Chris Gatt, ex-direttur artistiku tat-Teatru tal-Kavallier ta’ San Ġakbu, jagħti ħarsa lejn il-bidla li ġabet din il-kumpanija fit-teatru lokali, fuq it-taboos li tkissru u għaliex ix-xogħol ta’ Unifaun għandu jitqies importanti u differenti minn dak ta’ kumpaniji oħra.C)  Fit-tielet essay, Marcelle Teuma, direttriċi tat-teatru li ħadmet ma Unifaun fuq diversi proġetti, titkellem dwar IL-VERSATILITA’ TA’ UNIFAUN; dwar kif Unifaun kibret u nbidlet minn kumpanija li taħdem predominantement bl-Ingliz, fuq drammi Brittanniċi jew Amerikani, għal kumpanija li rnexxielha wkoll ittella’ diversi kummiedji kemm bil-Malti, kif ukoll bl-Ingliz, kif tellgħet drammi Maltin u fl-aħħarnet kif tellgħet ukoll xogħol klassiku.D)  Dave Barton, direttur minn Kalifornja, jikteb dwar l-esperjenza tiegħu ma Unifaun fejn fost l-oħrajn idderieġa BLASTED ta’ Sarah Kane. BLASTED hi meqjusa bħala kapular tat-Teatru IN-YER-FACE, stil ta’ teatru kontemporanju fejn l-awtur ifittex li jwassal il-messaġġ tiegħu u jġiegħel lill-udjenza taħseb billi jikteb b’mod kemmxejn grafiku u emozzjonali.  Dan l-istil ta’ teatru kien poplari ħafna mal-kumpanija Unifaun u kien permezz tiegħu li nkissru ħafna taboos fit-Teatru lokali.E)  Fl-aħħar, fl-essay A BRITISH PLAYWRIGHT WORKING WITH UNIFAUN, Brad Birch, awtur rinomat tat-teatru minn Wales, jikteb dwar l-esperjenza tiegħu jaħdem ma Unifaun, dwar l-importanza li niftħu xtutna lejn l-Ewropa b’mod speċjali, kif ukoll lejn il-bqija tal-Mediterran u anke Amerki.
  7. Se jkun hemm kitbiet ukoll mingħand Dr Paul Xuereb, Kritiku tat-teatru ewlieni f’Malta, kif ukoll minn Stephen Oliver, direttur tat-teatru li dderiġa ħafna mill-kitbiet teatrali ta’ Adrian Buckle.
  8. Se jkun hemm taqsima wkoll għal ritratti bil-kulur ta’ kull produzzjoni li tellgħet Unifaun. Dawn ir-ritratti kienu ittieħdu minn Darrin Zammit Lupi, Joseph A. Borg, Mark Zammit Cordina u Christine Muscat Azzopardi.

Għal dan il-ktieb qed inħejju book launch fit-Teatru tal-Kavallier ta’ San Ġakbu fejn se nistiednu lil studenti tal-Universita’ jistudjaw Theatre Studies, pratikanti oħra tat-teatru u membri tal-udjenzi tal-kumpanija Unifaun.

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ENGLISH

Unifaun Theater Productions is a theater company that was founded in April 2005 and that closed in March 2019. It was founded by Adrian Buckle who always served as the company’s Artistic Director. During the years it was active, Unifaun presented the Maltese public with theatrical productions that were innovative and that broke every theatrical taboo that existed in its time. Suffice it to say that in February 2009, Unifaun clashed with the then Censorship Board and ended up with a case before both the Constitutional Court of Malta and the European Court against State and Church, to put on the play ‘STITCHING’, which was prevented from being shown to the Maltese public by the same Board of Censorship. It was this legal battle that ended Theater Censorship in Malta.

This book, which will be bilingual (Maltese and English), will be divided as follows:

  1. Trevor Zahra, as editor of the book, begins by giving an analysis of what the company has done and why such a book is important.
  2. The first part will focus on how Adrian Buckle opened the Unifaun company, what led to its opening, what inspired him and why he wanted to open another company when there were already so many theater companies on the local scene. He will explore Buckle’s career with MADC, before opening Unifaun, and what led him to open the company. Finally, this book will also explore the influence of British writer Edward Bond on Buckle’s works and choices.
  3. In the second part of the book we will see a detailed analysis of each production staged by Unifaun, with all their details, including dates, photos, directors, actors and theaters in which the productions were held. These will be attached to reviews by theater critics such as Dr Paul Xuereb, Andre Delicata, Jes Camilleri, Teodor Reljic, Kenneth Zammit Tabona and others.
  4. In the third section we will look at the legal battle against the State and the Church regarding Freedom of Expression and Theatrical Censorship. We see how, although the battle arose because the Censorship Board kept the ‘STITCHING’ production from being shown, the battle went deeper than that. In fact, once the battle was won, the Theatrical and Artistic Censorship came to an end. We also see this from documents, submissions and decrees from the Constitutional Court of Malta as well as from the European Court.
  5. This will be followed by a number of essays, some in Maltese and others in English, on the effect that the Unifaun company has had on the local theater scene.A) Chris Cooper, a director from Birmingham, begins with an essay entitled TAKING THEATER TO THE EXTREME. This will look at the theatrical philosophy of Edward Bond, who had such an influence on Unifaun. In fact, you could say that Unifaun’s philosophy was based entirely on the words of Edward Bond.B) In the second essay, THE EFFECT OF UNIFAUN ON THE MALTESE THEATER, Chris Gatt, former artistic director of the Theater of St. James Cavalier, takes a look at the change that this company brought to the local theater, on the taboos that were broken and why Unifaun’s work should be considered as important and different from that of other companies.C) In the third essay, Marcelle Teuma, a theater director who has worked with Unifaun on various projects, talks about UNIFAUN’S VERSATILITY; on how Unifaun has grown and changed from a company that works predominantly in English, on British or American plays, to a company that also managed to stage several comedies in both Maltese and English, how it staged Maltese plays and finally how it also staged classical works.D) Dave Barton, a director from California, writes about his experience with Unifaun where among others he directed Sarah Kane’s BLASTED. BLASTED is seen as the masterpiece of IN-YER-FACE Theater, a style of contemporary theater in which the author seeks to convey his message and make the audience think by writing in a somewhat graphic and emotional way. This style of theater was very popular with the Unifaun company and it was through this that many taboos were broken in the local theater.E) Finally, in the essay A BRITISH PLAYWRIGHT WORKING WITH UNIFAUN, Brad Birch, a renowned theater author from Wales, writes about his experience working with Unifaun, about the importance of opening our shores to Europe, as well as to the rest of the Mediterranean and even the Americas.
  6. There will be guest essays from prominent Theatre Reviewer Dr Paul Xuereb, who reviewed most of Unifaun’s plays and British Director/Actor Stephen Oliver who directed most of the plays penned by Adrian Buckle.
  7. There will also be a section for color photos of each production uploaded by Unifaun. These photos were taken by Darrin Zammit Lupi, Joseph A. Borg, Mark Zammit Cordina and Christine Muscat Azzopardi.

For this book we are preparing a book launch at the Theater of St. James Cavalier where we will invite University students who are reading for a degree in Theater Studies, other theater practitioners, and members of the audiences of the Unifaun company.

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