The Malta Independent 28 January 2023, Saturday
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Dangerous liaisons

Monday, 16 January 2017, 15:02 Last update: about 7 years ago

Last summer, maverick theatre producer Adrian Buckle 'bit the bullet', as he puts it, and decided to write his own script to be produced by his company Unifaun Productions. The result was 'Unintended' - a full-length play about the demolition of taboos. And now the play is going to be brought to life next month at St James Cavalier with a cast and crew which are made up of both local and international elements. Coryse Borg speaks to two 'Stephens' - director Stephen Oliver and actor Stephen Mintoff to find out what audiences should expect.

 

"Unintended focusses on the dangerous games some adults play and the sexual gratification gained from such play," explains director Stephen Oliver. "For one unfortunate young man this comes to a head when his girlfriend brings him home to meet the parents."

Mr Oliver trained as a professional actor at The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. An award-winning director, he has worked on stage and in film professionally as an actor and director for over 25 years in the UK, the USA and Europe. He has lived in Malta for the past three years and has been involved in various productions here, both as a director and as an actor. This is the first time he will be directing a play for Unifaun.

"Unintended is very much an adult play dealing with adult themes. The play is an exciting no holds barred new play by Adrian Buckle which celebrates all that is good in gritty new writing. The play pulls no punches when dealing with the subject matter," he asserts, "The audience are merely voyeurs in an unrelenting and uninhibited game played by adults on an innocent young man."

Mr Oliver says that he intends to use a stylistic approach used by Dennis Potter in his Pennies from Heaven and Lipstick on Your Collar where the actors lip-synch songs which juxtapose against the horror of the piece... a device he used when directing the plays Brimstone and Treacle and Blue Remembered Hills in the UK.

The cast of Unintended is made up of local actors Mikhail Basmadjian, Stephen Mintoff and Mariele Zammit as well as Joyia Fitch who is coming over from the UK.

Mr Mintoff caught the acting bug young; when he was four years old to be exact and he started attending one of the Masquerade Performing Arts School, which he did for the next 11 years. Since then, he has been active within the theatre scene in Malta. Last summer, he attended a Contemporary Drama two-week workshop at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). He is also a member of the Teatru Manoel Youth Theatre (TMYT) and has performed various roles onstage and in local television productions, music videos and advertisements.

Mr Mintoff explains that Unintended revolves around a teenager, Jamie - the character he will be playing. He decides to take a girl he likes, (and who is slightly out of this league) to a prom and while waiting for her to get ready, he is abused both mentally and physically, as well as taken advantage of by her parents.

"Jamie is in for quite a surprise... and so are the audience," says Mr Mintoff. "He is quite naive and vulnerable, and he ends up being exposed to quite a number of menacing acts. It is also interesting how the audience gets to see how the parents' characters evolve throughout the show. I am very excited, and nervous, to be working on Unintended, which thanks to its original script promises to be quite an unusual show, yet intriguing to watch."

Performances of Unintended are on 4-5, 9-12 and 16-19 February at St James Cavalier at 8pm. Tickets can be bought online from http://www.kreattivita.org/en/event/unintended/ or by calling on 2122 3216. Thursday shows are sold at a reduced price. 

The play is classified 18+ and patrons should be advised that there are scenes of nudity and scenes of a sexual nature.

Photos by Darrin Zammit Lupi


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