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From Award Winning Films To Writing Her Own Plays: Michela Farrugia Writes Newest Production ‘The Smiling Man’

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Michela Farrugia, the lead actress on the latest Maltese film Luzzu, is now taking on writing in the newest Maltese production ‘The Smiling Man’.

The writer of the play was inspired by the vast range of stories, ideas, and experiences that individuals recounted during the turmoil in eastern European countries in the late 80s and early 90s.

The original theatre play is set in a near-future authoritarian society, which merges a totalitarian world reminiscent of the 1900s with images and ideas that we today associate with modern freedom and liberty, emphasizing the notion that our realities are inter-subjective.

“Playing on tragedy and comedy, ‘The Smiling Man’ hopes to point out the absurdities we collectively accept, forget, and decisively overlook,” Michela Farrugia told Lovin Malta. 

By invoking surrealist elements using physical theatre, audience interaction, video, and disco, the cast hopes to present a somewhat satirical version of our own hyper-normalised society.

“The collapse of the communist ideology was only possible due to the fact that a huge number of citizens, soldiers, and officials disregarded their old fantasy and joined the west in our interpretation of what a civilised, liberal society should be,” Farrugia explained.

“One question seemed to reign above all; is this so-called progressive democratic culture we have manifested in the west void of principals that only exist in the human brain, or is it simply a different side to the same coin?”

‘The Smiling Man’ is a Two Sleeping Cats production which was written by Michela Farrugia, and will also be the directorial debut of local actor Joseph Zammit.

Taking on the role of George is Jacob Piccinino, a physical-theatre performer, while Lily is being performed by the writer herself.

Apart from the couple, the audience will encounter numerous characters, voices, and figures throughout the evening, which will be performed by Anthony Mizzi, who was also instrumental in the production side of this piece.

‘The Smiling Man’ will be performed from 24th to 26th September at Blank Canvas Studios in Mrieħel.

Send an email to [email protected] to book your seats or through Chitzo.com.

Audiences are encouraged to prepare their dancing shoes and warm up their voices. You are all invited to be storytellers and be citizens of The Smiling Utopia.

Photography credit: Anthony Mizzi

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