As Malta’s annual youth theatre festival, ŻiguŻajg, moved online (thanks, COVID-19), many were unsure about how the theatre arts will function digitally – and understandably so.
In light of this change, theatre-makers all over Malta worked hard to reinvent their beloved medium, and it’s safe to say that, for the most part, this transition worked beautifully. Testament to this is locally-produced performance Ineż (Kienet Perfetta).
This Studio 18, ŻiguŻajg, and Spazju Kreattiv co-production follows the mysterious disappearance of 14-year-old Ineż – a popular, sassy, and rebellious social media queen who everyone considered to be pretty much ‘perfect’.
After a particularly dramatic night out, the titular character goes missing, right as the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold of the country.
Suddenly, everyone in her small community turns judge and jury – and whilst Ineż certainly wasn’t perfect, everyone moulded the idea of her into their own definition of perfection.
Consequently, Ineż (Kienet Perfetta) asks ‘what happens when a person is expected to be perfect?”.
Penned by Simone Spiteri, a veteran in Malta’s playwriting circles, and directed by locally-acclaimed theatre-maker Jean Marc Cafa, Ineż (Kienet Perfetta) is the product of years of research.
This performance had premiered at the Spazju Kreattiv Theatre as part of the 2016 ŻiguŻajg programme.
Loosely based on the 15th century Maltese novel Ineż Farruġ, by Anton Manwel Caruana, Spiteri undertook the mammoth task of adapting the storyline to a contemporary setting. Having said that, the story retained the key themes of living up to societal pressures and overcoming others’ expectations.
Whilst the essence of the 2016 script was kept for 2020’s re-run of Ineż (Kienet Perfetta), substantial changes were made to adapt the narrative to a virtual environment and to keep the story relevant.
In a bid to ensure this, Cafa and Spiteri looked into what TV series are being watched by adolescents in recent years. Because of this, Ineż (Kienet Perfetta) was heavily influenced by some very popular series out there – we’re talking Elite, 13 Reasons Why, Gossip Girl, and How To Get Away With Murder.
Special attention was given to making the online performance as accessible as possible. Lighting and sound were designed keeping audience members with sensory issues in mind. Furthermore, all three episodes include captions.
Ineż (Kienet Perfetta) brings together Maltese acting veterans like Mikhail Basmadjian and Kristjana Casha and newcomers like Matthew Dimech Genuis and Adam Ryan.
All three episodes will be available to view from 20th to 29th November. Bookings can be made on ŻiguŻajg’s website.