An “immersive theatre experience” with a difference is coming to Valletta this month, and it’s set to please all the Maltese science fiction fans out there.
Babel X (which is possibly the most sci-fi sounding name ever), promises to put up a story of four different civilisations from four different planets, played by actors speaking four different languages. In a beautiful turn of events, Malta turns out to actually be the centre of the universe after all, as the weird and unique characters from all over the cosmos are summoned to our island in order to help reverse the fate of the universe.
The people behind Babel X want to transform Valletta’s beautiful Lower Barrakka Gardens into a “village” of sorts called Il-Villaġġ t’Akkarrab, with eight installations showing the traditions and stories of the planets in the story. After the free walkthrough around the garden-turned-celestial-village, a performance of how the four main characters meet will actually go down. The organisers aren’t just promising a performance where people sit and watch, though, and are calling it “an immersive and participatory experience for the public.”
Directed and produced by Jacob Piccinino, Babel X is a collaboration between a lot of artists, both local and international. The first part of the show includes dancers and actors Yasmin Falzon, Yasmin Schembri, Fabiana Mangialardi, Francesca Zammit, Rochelle Gatt, Christian Debono, Rachel Calleja, Mathab Mokhber and Martina Georgina. The development of the installations around the garden has been done through the help of Sandra Zammit (artistic director of Opening Doors) and Douglas Comley. On the other hand, the second part of Babel X bring togethers actors from Turkey (Sencan Oytun Tokuc), Scotland (Alan Stuart Goldie Cairncross), France (Arthur Dumas) and Malta (Mariele Zammit). Costumes for these four actors will be made by Enrique Tabone.
The experimental sci-fi theatre piece is supported by Arts Council Malta’s Arts Fund, but it also has a Zaar crowdfunding page which, with just under two weeks ago, has nearly reached its €1,000 goal. This money would go to transforming the garden with more lighting and decorations, creating even more elaborate costumes and props for the installations, devising music and soundscape, and even planning to take the installations to the streets in the future, so if a Malta sci-fi epic is something that tickles your fancy, we’d definitely recommend showing your support. The actors will even record a video personally thanking backers who donate €20 or more to the cause, and the videos which have already been uploaded are all types of weird, wonderful and just straight up adorable.
Babel X will be going down between the 28th and the 30th of July, and entrance is absolutely free. For more information on the performance, check out the official Facebook page or the weekend’s event page.