The Malta Independent 3 March 2024, Sunday
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Sex abuse victim slams Teatru Manoel for hosting Suda-adapted play

Thursday, 2 February 2023, 05:54 Last update: about 2 years ago

The woman who was the victim of sexual assault at the hands of actor John Suda has slammed Teatru Manoel’s decision to produce a play that he translated 30 years ago.

In reply, Teatru Manoel said that Suda, who was found guilty of the assault in 2018, has no involvement whatsoever in the co-production and will receive absolutely no compensation from the theatre or Talenti, the group which is producing the play.

The production is an adaptation of a French farce by Marc Camoletti and Baverley Cross. It will be presented by the theatre later this month.

Suda, 66 at the time, had been accused of having abused of a young actress he had been coaching after auditioning for a soap opera part. When the young actress turned up for her lesson, Suda had locked the door and ordered her to take off her clothes and start reciting her lines.

When she asked why she had to do this, he had raised his voice and told her that it was necessary to improve her confidence.

He had then proceeded to blindfold the girl and tell her to walk around the room naked while reciting her lines.

He was served a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and lost his teacher’s warrant.

Writing on Facebook, the victim asked Teatru Manoel why someone who has been found guilty of sexual assault and prohibited from teaching or performing is involved in one of the theatre’s productions. She accused the theatre of promoting his name.

“Seven years later and I still suffer from the scars, my body still freezes yet shakes at the sight of his name. Thank you Teatru Manoel for making my battle a neverending one.”

The Malta Independent is withholding the name of the actress for the time being, as her name had been withheld by the courts at the time of the incident.

In a post on Facebook, Teatru Manoel said that the script was originally written by French playwright Marc Camoletti and translated into English by Baverley Cross, and was adapted and translated into Maltese by Mario Micallef and John Suda 30 years ago. John Suda has had no relationship with the script since then, the theatre said.

“Teatru Manoel also confirms that John Suda has no involvement whatsoever in the co-production and will receive absolutely no compensation from Teatru Manoel or Talenti.”

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