What do Elvis Presley, the Salesians Theatre, and the University of Malta have in common? An uncompromising and off-beat comedy show with a young cast including five of our University’s own students, of course! ‘Laugh? I nearly went to Miami’ will be performed this weekend only providing the audience with snort-worthy dead-pan humour, and a good dose of very British wit. Insite caught up with five of the actors and spoke to them about what it’s like to be full-time students and part-time actors, considering our hectic lifestyles nowadays, but there was a catch – they only had 5 seconds to answer their questions.
What is the worst thing about being a student actor?
Nicole Piscopo (Psychology): The stress of trying to manage studying at Uni and going to rehearsals. Nicola Mangion (International Relations): Lack of sleep, trying to balance – as they said – and trying not to fail all your exams. Kyle Mangani (Architecture): I don’t have the time to eat properly. Thomas Grixti (Dentistry): Time-management and catching up with sleep. Neil Grech (Digital Arts): The lack of sleep and no time to learn your lines.
NP: You get to have something to do every day. NM: It’s like stress relief and it’s a creative outlet as well. KM: Getting to know new people to work with and … (time’s up) TG: Putting yourself out there for other people to know you exist. NG: You get to experience and meet a lot of people, and you get to experience different plays.
What would be the moment when you could say, “I made it!”?
NP: Performing something longer than two shows, something on a big scale. NM: It feels like you’ve made it every time you finish a show and there’s applause and the satisfaction at the end of each show. KM: You know you’ve made it when you can be a full-time actor and say “bye bye” to your other career. TG: When you actually start considering quitting your course. NG: As soon as we close the last curtain of the last show and then we get ready to go to the party.
NP: It’s about a couple, Tom and Alice, whose flight gets cancelled and when they get home they find … NM: … a suitcase full of money which they’ve exchanged with another person at the airport and it creates a lot of confusion … KM: … they don’t know what to do with the money and somewhere in the middle, in comes an insane policeman … TG: … this insane person needs to get the money back, but he forgets … NG: … just come watch it and you’ll know!
How would you describe your characters?
NP: I’m playing Alice; she’s very lively and in love with Tom. NM: I’m playing Muriel, she’s a very horny person who really just wants a night of fun which gets disturbed because of the money. KM: I’m playing Inspector Hendy, a policeman who thinks he’s above everyone. TG: I’ll be interpreting the character of Frankie, who is a very haphazard and loud guy, trying to be tough. NG: I am Barney; a friendly, loving, flirtatious, forward character … dumb as well.
NP: I can see a lot of myself in Alice, she’s very optimistic and lively but at times she’s also more risk-taking than I am. NM: We’re very different characters, but if I had to find one thing in common it’s that we both enjoy the fun aspect of life. KM: I will definitely never be a policeman because I’m crazy, but sometimes I like having a little bit of authority over others. TG: I can say that I’m giving it my all. I am my character except in terms of patience. NG: Oh my god 90%! But I’m not too forward because I’m in a relationship so …
Is there any other character you would also like to portray? Male or female?
NP: Auntie looks like fun and she’s always drunk, while I always seem drunk when I’m actually sober. NM: Auntie as well, because she’s always drunk as well and it looks like a really fun character to portray. KM: Auntie because she’s happy-go-lucky and always has a drink in her hand. TG: Definitely Auntie because of the same reasons, but I’d also like to try out Barney because of his manner of lying. NG: I would be Frankie because I’m macho and strong and I want to be a hero.
NP: Now is the best time to do it because, although we all have a lot of work to do, if you want it enough you’ll manage and find time. NM: F*ck it, just go for it and try out as many things as possible. KM: Go for it and don’t worry too much about studying, don’t waste away at home studying. If you want to enjoy life, then enjoy it. TG: It’s a place when you can not only be another character, but you can also be yourself. NG: Just do it, just explore it, and you will love it if you put your heart and soul into it.
Why should students come to see this play?
NP: It’s fun, it’s a good laugh, and it’s a good night out. NM: It’s something different because usually theatre is more dramatic and deep, whereas this is something light so it appeals to more people, I think.