Sister duo Bettina and Philippa Cassar are best known as the New Victorians, a fantastic folk group from Malta. Their music is inspired by the likes of Florence + The Machine and Mumford and Sons, with tracks like ‘Keep Me In Love’ showing off their folksy roots.
These influences led the sisters to experiment with audio production in their live setup, to a popular response. Their fusion of acoustic folk tones with a modern electronic approach to production paved the way for their latest venture: MARA, a theatrical production celebrating women.
The performance, which ran at the Manoel Theatre for a single weekend last August, shows off a multidisciplinary performance involving song, movement, poetry, dance, drama, elements of verbatim theatre and visual art.
It celebrates the achievements of women throughout time, from inventors to scientists to artists to activists. The play was such a success that MARA has just been chosen by no less than the National Theatre of Scotland for a performance run, in their famous Exchange Festival program.
The Exchange Festival, which has been around for nearly a decade, is all about young theatre makers, and is usually focused on home-grown UK talent. However, two international plays were allowed in this year, and MARA was one of them.
With the festival being focused on 16 – 25 year olds, the cast of MARA will be changed to reflect the festival’s theme.
The festival is considered a kick-off point for young creatives to show their skills, and it is really the perfect place for the sister duo from Malta to take their work to the next level.
Their music has evolved over time, bringing in electronic elements, like on their single ‘Seeker Seeker’ – and their style has been making waves both in Malta as well as in the US and UK.