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PORTFOLIO

Il-Każin tal-Imqarbin Research & Development Week February 2024

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In 2022, Malta recorded the highest rate of HIV transmissions in Europe. 

This new musical is the first ever Maltese piece of theatre to honour the lives of those we’ve lost at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. It’s an urgent piece. Not just because local awareness about HIV is so limited, but because the longer we take to talk about this the more our national sexual health will deteriorate.

 

Inspired by true stories we’ve gathered in our research, Il-Każin tal-Imqarbin explores the secret lives of closeted gay men of the 80s.

 

These men, a product of tradition and conservatism - all met at this secret underground club to live freely for a few hours. The story explores how their only outlet of authenticity was jeopardised by the threat of AIDS.

CAST

CREATIVE TEAM

Music, Lyrics and Script

Luke Saydon

Direction

Denise Mulholland

Movement

Chakib Zidi

Dramaturgy

Clare Azzopardi

Producer

Emma Micallef

Producer 

Sean Borg

STORY

MUSIC

GALLERY

Development of the show supported by

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SAYDON STUDIO

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LUKE SAYDON CV

  • Luke is an award-winning composer, musical director & theatre maker from Malta, now based in London – working with organisations including British Youth Musical Theatre, The Old Vic, V&A Museum, Les Enfants Terribles, Museum of London and the British Library. Luke has been the musical director for Chickenshed Theatre Company in Kensington & Chelsea, Some Voices and Wyllyotts Theatre.

  • Recent musicals include It-Teatru tal-Miskin (Saydon Studio, Malta) and The Naughty Carriage on the Orphan Train (Dundee Rep, BYMT). His musical HUSH premiered as part of the Valletta European City of Culture in 2018 and went on to win three Maltese National Arts Awards: Best Production, Best Work for Young Audiences and Best Young Artist Award. Luke's production of It-Teatru tal-Miskin in Malta won the National Arts Award for Best Production in 2024. 

  •  Other writing and composition credits include My Way Home (Royal College of Music, Britten Theatre), Burst (Candooco Dance Company), Dreams of Freedom (Royal Albert Hall), HARVEY MILK (Zedels, London) , Heart to Heart (Musical Podcast) Polly & Ester (Żigużajg), Dear Future Me (Battersea Arts Centre), The Indispensable Hero (Chelsea Theatre),  The Changing Room (UK National Theatre Connections Festival), Trumpets & Raspberries (Chickenshed), Tales from the Shed (Old Vic),  V&A Pink Floyd Exhibition (V&A Museum), The Indispensable Hero (The Lyric Theatre), The Story of Stories (The Lyric Theatre), Ernest & The Pale Moon (Shrinking Violets) and The Three Sunsets (Manoel Theatre).

  • Luke is the founder of Saydon Studio a new theatre collective that makes and shares new musical theatre within communities, winning the Maltese National Arts Award for Best Creative Practice. He also founded Malta's first queer choir KOR KWIR, a project commissioned by EuroPride2023. 

 

IT-TEATRU TAL-MISKIN

MUSIC, LYRICS & BOOK:  LUKE SAYDON
DIRECTOR: DENISE MULHOLLAND 


BLURB:

 

It- Teatru tal- Miskin is a cautionary tale about the dangers of a close-minded society.

The bus never comes to Ħal Fern. It’s a village cut from the rest of the world, completely forgotten.

 

One day a troupe of clowns arrives in Ħal Fern - entertainers who are strikingly different from the rest of the village. Their otherness and playfulness stand out in the mundane streets of Ħal Fern. They perform “It-Teatru tal-Miskin”, a show that unearths the stories that Ħal Fern had buried deep. The stories of a boy who dared to wear high heels.

Through rather macabre theatricality, It-Teatru tal-Miskin is a queer coming of age story about people’s innate fear of ‘the other’. 

REVIEW from THE TIMES OF MALTA:

"It-Teatru tal-Miskin may very well be the best thing to happen to Maltese theatre this year. It is with good reason that each consecutive run sold seats like hotcakes, packiong theatres to the brim, with audiences transfixed, shattering the earth in its wake. I only wish this had appeared 10 or 20 years ago." 

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These videos have English subtitles. Press CC to access.

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