FM Theatre Company’s roaring take on the age-old fairytale, Sleeping Beauty, will be performed this Christmas at Teatru Manoel, starring Edward Mercieca.
After producing two sellout musicals – My Fair Lady and Mamma Mia – earlier this year, FM Theatre Productions make the move back to the Teatru Manoel with their latest show, Sleeping Beauty. Both matinée and evening performances will be staged between 23 December and 6 January.
In this adventure-packed tale, the evil fairy Maleficent – seeking revenge for not being invited to Aurora’s christening – curses the newborn princess, foretelling that she will die on her 16th birthday by pricking her finger on a spinning wheel’s spindle. Prince Charming, together with the help of Dame Nanna Kola (played by dame extraordinaire Edward Mercieca), three good-fairies, and Muddles, attempt to break the evil spell and get rid of Maleficent for good.
With over 30 years’ experience under his belt, panto veteran and founder of FM Theatre Productions, Mercieca is well-acquainted with the essential elements of a panto that audiences have come to know and love. “We promise a good-old manly dame, a chase, funny walks, slapstick, magic, comedy and great sing-alongs that will make for an all-round colourful spectacle – all performed in the beautiful Teatru Manoel,” he said. Indeed, FM Theatre productions are firm believers in tradition, and their pantos are made up of all the well-known ingredients that are intrinsic to a heart-warming and hilariously witty show.
Returning to the same fairy-tale that marked his debut as the pivotal role of Dame during the formative years of his career, Mercieca commented that the Teatru Manoel is a unique and magical setting, and its warm intimacy makes it the perfect home for the yearly Christmas pantomime. As is to be expected, the audience is in for a series of surprises, which, of course, the producer is hesitant to disclose. “What I can tell you is that the Teatru Manoel will be hosting three dazzling flying Fairies – played by Antonella Mifsud, Maria Cassar and Nicole Cassar – which is going to be a spectacle in itself, as well as a huge dragon for the final battle!”
Since founding FM Theatre Productions in 1998, Edward and his wife Marika have expanded the company’s vision over the years to include a repertoire of over 20 productions – from musicals to straight plays including the award-winning Butterflies Are Free – and, of course, several pantos.
Sleeping Beauty will feature a talented cast, including Chiara Hyzler as the comic Muddles, Gianni Selvaggi as Prince Charming, Raquel Theuma as Princess Aurora, Tezara Camilleri as Maleficent, Rambert Attard and Karen Decelis as the two bumbling hench-persons, Analise Cassar as Queen Astra and her twin sister Sybil, and Matthew Cassar as King Basil.
Sleeping Beauty is being staged at Teatru Manoel at 3pm and 8pm on 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 December and 2, 3, 5 January. There will be another show on 4 January at 8pm and on 6 January at 3pm. Tickets are available from www.teatrumanoel.com.mt