Tragedy and Comedy Meet at the Teatru Manoel.

A Catholic, a Jew and a Muslim meet in an exciting evening full of intrigue and double-dealing, as the Teatru Manoel welcomes The Jew of Malta for the very first time!

We spoke to Antony Edridge, who will play the role of Ferneze in the ‘Elizabethan rollercoaster’ of a play, penned by the greatest of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, Christopher Marlowe. The seasoned actor shares his experience within the Maltese theatre scene, ahead of the MADC and Teatru Manoel’s upcoming co-production.

What attracted you to the Maltese Islands?
Two years ago I was ready for a bit of a change of scene, and Maltese climate and Mediterranean sea were a huge pull factor for me. Moreover, the local interest in theatre (plus the visiting films in the summer) meant that I might be able to keep busy doing what I love. One of the first people I met in Malta was Martin Azzopardi, chairman of the MADC, and thus came my introduction to Maltese theatre.

What do you love most about theatre?
Working in theatre is a crazy way to make a living, so you come across some remarkable and often eccentric people. The friendships I have made among these lunatics are those I treasure most. Going on stage in front of a live crowd is the most amazing buzz. The adrenaline levels it can produce are off the charts. It’s a very addictive occupation.

Theatre is theatre, be it in London or Valletta. But I do wish that some of the cash that is floating about this little island could go towards funding a professional theatre here. Although it is hard for those involved to give their time and energy to a project while still having to hold down a day job, I look forward to a time when entertainers will be properly recognised and rewarded for their efforts.

How would you describe your character, Ferneze, in the upcoming production of Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta?
Ferneze is a politician and a soldier. He is prepared to do whatever he has to do to maintain his position. He is an opportunist without much in the way of scruples, who hides behind a mask of religious fervour. It’s still early days in the rehearsal process, so I now have to find what he likes about himself!

What are you most looking forward to about the performance?
I’m looking forward to the things I always look forward to… the smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd! I’m excited to be performing in a rarely-produced piece and seeing how we can make it work. This will be my first show at the beautiful Teatru Manoel and I’m grateful to be working with a very talented bunch of actors, some of whom I’ve worked with before, some not.

Catch Antony Edridge in the MADC and Teatru Manoel’s upcoming production of The Jew of Malta at Teatru Manoel on 5-7; 12-14 October at 8pm (except for the October 6 performance, which starts at 6pm). This project is supported by the Project Support Grant, Malta Arts Fund – Arts Council Malta.. Tickets can be purchased from www.teatrumanoel.com.