‘Il-Hanina Maddalena’; a story of love, betrayal, moving on and mystery; intertwined up in a game of power, religions, morals, values and the corruption of those who were able to lead when the Order of the Knights of St. John and the French governed Malta.
One cannot talk about this musical without mentioning the amazing musical acts throughout the whole performance. The music and the actors’ singing were simply sublime and just spot on at conveying certain emotions, telling the story itself and introducing various characters.
The colloquialisms and vulgarities used in the script were simply entrancing to the audience; manytimes evoking enough laughter that brings tears to their eyes. The element of love within the lyrics and the words in the script was palpable enough to melt the coldest of hearts, such cathartic and raw emotion!
The storyline and the technicalities clearly show that extensive research was conducted before the script was written. The place and value women had in society was addressed at various instances throughout the performance. In this society women belonged either at home or in a monastery. The power the Grandmaster had over the Mother Superior shows the dynamics of the relationship between sexes. Another instance that shows this concept is how knights treated prostitutes.
The scenery, lights and costumes were on point. A balcony that doubled as a bedroom and a rooftop, while another balcony doubled as the Bishop’s office and a rooftop, yet one could always tell what the place being portrayed is. The lights indicated whether it was night or day, and directed the audience’s attention to the most important in the particular scenes. There were also some special effects such as thunder and lightning as well as the witch’s magic that showed up like flames and red lights. All the costumes, from women’s elaborate beautiful ball gowns, men’s uniforms and suits and nuns’ vestments to the witch’s robes, were absolutely splendid.
Yet, the ending leaves the audience with various questions. Some may enjoy the ending, while others won’t, finding it rather sour or unfinished. Personally, I liked it, the element of mystery that lingers throughout and after the performance simply enchants me and makes me want to come up with different possible endings. All in all, the performance was amazing and the music was simply genius; spilling over the brim with raw emotion.