It’s that time of the year when the Passion is back in fashion. For Catholics in Malta and around the world, it’s a time of remembrance, solitude, contemplation, and ultimately celebration. However, it’s also a time in which devotees can show tribute to the biblical event by participating in plays and pageants.
This year, just like every other year, Malta is the place to be if you want to experience productions relating to the Easter story, and you’re bound to find a production that suits your interests whether you’re looking for a faithful retelling, or an interpretation.
This article will provide a comprehensive overview of many of the Easter productions happening in Malta this year.
Jesus Christ Superstar
A now classic and a unanimous favourite, it’s hard to not get excited over a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar. Taking place at the Catholic Institute in Floriana on the 1st and 2nd of April, this rendition of the Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice work features some top names in Malta as well as a live, 12-piece orchestra.
Live Last Supper
Happening in Mqabba, in the Subterranean Camber of Palazz Santa Marija in the church square, between the 7th and 14th of April (though not every day) this last supper is set to provide an interesting take on Judas’ role in the whole story, with the pivotal question asked being whether Judas was a traitor, or in fact betrayed himself.
The Senglea drama group is known for putting on spectacular dramas on an annual basis during Holy Week. This year is no exception as their new play, Iesus, will be performed at Sede Azzjoni Kattolika in Senglea on the 8th and 9th of April.
Rajt.Smajt.Qtilt (I saw.I heard.I killed) might be an odd choice of name for an Easter show, much more so for one that is happening in Birzebbuga’s Primary School Hall. However, it’s definitely a guarantee that this will be one of the more intriguing takes on the Passion story. In fact, Rajt.Smajt.Qtilt is apparently a more modern interpretation overall. Unfortunately, we doubt that people who don’t know Maltese will be able to follow.
This is another production that is set to add a fresh look on the story of Jesus Christ. Calix Amaritudinis focuses specifically on an abduction plot crafted by the priests in an attempt to thwart Christ. Judas is, of course, a key character here. The fact that a World War II shelter in Qormi is being readapted for this play is a cool plus!
Although this is not a play, we have to mention this performance by the Goldberg Ensemble of Handel’s timeless classic, The Messiah. Happening at St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Valletta on the 16th of April, you can expect a rather faithful interpretation of the work as Handel himself intended, with single strings and few singers.
Jesus Christ Superstar Shelter Show
4Teenth Productions will produce for the third and last time highlights from the musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’; a rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. This musical depicts the last few hours of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. This year the production will be totally different to what was presented in the past two years. The show will include different musical tracks and an innovative take on stage direction. Jesus Christ Superstar Shelter Show will be held on the 12th & 13th April (shows starting at 8pm, 9pm, 10pm and 11pm) and on Friday 14th April (shows starting at 9am, 10am, 11am and noon).