The Malta Independent 26 March 2019, Tuesday

Jiena Nhobb, Inti Thobb takes centre stage

Malta Independent Sunday, 26 January 2014, 10:05 Last update: about 6 years ago

Jiena Nhobb, Inti Thobb explores current hot topics and the producers claim there is huge anticipation as to how writer Simon Bartolo has intertwined them in an entertaining story, and how Sean Buhagiar’s direction will bring it to life.

Following the appeal by a member of the Christian group River of Love Fellowship for people to not attend because, he claimed, the play will give “bad examples”, the Manoel Theatre issued a statement saying that: “the majority reacted by condemning the attack and praised the producers for going ahead with the production.”

In the same statement, producer Mario Philip Azzopardi had this to say:

“This is our theatre. It is not an import and it is not a translation. It comes from one of our strongest writers and it is addressed directly to us, as a Maltese society, dealing with a current dilemma that confronts not only us but the world. Simon's brilliant approach to the subject matter is to plunge headlong into the fray.

“He does not "explain" the whys and wherefores of the script but instead decides to talk to an adult mature audience that needs to see a different perspective than the one imposed by the church, politicians and stakeholders. This, after all, is an experience we share as a whole. It may affect us differently but it is ours to deal with."

The play’s main character is a gay musician who helps his gay friends find a surrogate to be inseminated with their sperm through IVF. The gay couple decide to raise their own child, knowing that the practice of surrogacy is illegal in Malta. The consequences are as various as they are dramatic and heart-breaking.

Notte Bianca artistic director Sean Buhagiar, who has played leading roles in plays such as Sulari Fuq Strada Stretta, Xbihat Ta Xi Whud Li Huma Kattolici, and L-indemonjat U Maltin Ohra, returns to the Manoel as a director in this year's first production by the group Stagun Teatru Malti. The cast is led by Ray Calleja, together with Victor Debono, Davide Tucci, Clare Agius, Marilú Vella, Sharon Bezzina, Roderick Vassallo and others, among whom is Peppi Azzopardi, playing himself as the host of a TV show.

In a previous statement, the producers had thanked the Malta Arts Fund and the Manoel Theatre for “...helping the Maltese stage take a leap forward with this drama.”

Following last year’s performances of Clare Azzopardi's In-Nisa Maltin Jafu Kif and Albert Marshall's L'indemonjati U Maltin Ohra, the statement added, Stagun Teatru Malti continues with the mandate of recognising local talent and producing high quality original Maltese theatre that dares address local issues in a style not found in any other media outlets.

“This is controversial entertainment with a capital C, insisting on shedding the traditional dependency on imported theatrical works to allow our own playwrights and highly talented actors to give vent to our own artistic expression, addressing and exposing our own identity, warts and all,” the statement claimed.


The play is certified 16 and will feature nudity, coarse language and adult themes. It will be staged on 7, 8, 9, and 10 February. Booking from

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