APPLAUSE FOR ANDRE AGIUS

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Date of Birth: 17th January, 1994

Location: Balzan

Star Sign: Capricorn

Main Occupation: Reading for a BA Hons. Theatre Studies at the University of Malta

Media-related occupation: Actor and Drama Teacher at Masquerade

Andre Agius started acting at the tender age of 4, and made his professional debut at the Manoel Theatre playing Jojo in Seussical the Musical when he was just 11.

Since then, Andre has gone on to perform in some of Malta’s most memorable productions, including Tender Napalm and The People Next Door. On the silver screen, Andre has had roles in Agora and The Devil’s Double. He’s also just completed filming the latest Michael Bay film, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. Meanwhile on TV, he’s been part of CBS’s The Dove Keepers, the BBC’s The Whale and NBC’s You, Me and the Apocalypse.

Andre will once again grace the Manoel stage this weekend for an exceptional production of Masquerade Theatre Company’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

How did you first get into acting?

Here’s a throwback to my second year in pre-grade and to when our teacher wanted her class to perform songs from The Lion King during the annual school concert. I was secretly hoping she’d cast me as Timon, which she ended up doing, as I was – nearly – the shortest student in class.

I was so excited that day of the concert, that when my time came to perform Hakuna Matata, I instinctively grabbed the tail on my costume and started swirling it around to the beat of the song. My mother, who was watching her son clad in meerkat attire, saw this moment of tail-swirling and noticed how confident I seemed on stage. After that, she decided to sign me up at Masquerade School of the Performing Arts, and then things just took off from there.

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What’s your perception of the current theatre scene in Malta?

From my point of view, theatre in Malta is passing through a phase of healthy change, not only with regards to the structure and organisation of theatre, but also in the sense that theatre is taking a more professional outlook. Having been exposed to national and international opportunities, the younger generation of actors and theatremakers are getting more involved and putting the experiences they’ve gained to practice.

This in turn is leaving a mark on the current theatre scene as the new generations of upcoming actors and theatremakers are mingling harmoniously with the veterans, who have years of experience under their belts, to produce a product that is not only appealing to Maltese audiences but also stands its ground when compared to international performances.

Tell us more about your character in Masquerade Theatre Company’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

I will be playing the part of Billy Bibbit, the youngest patient in the ward and also the character that is mostly known for his stutter. I feel that understanding this character’s psyche is particularly challenging, as he’s a grown man with the thoughts, understanding and reactions of a young, teenage boy.

Which three words would you say describe you best?

Energetic, quirky and confident. I feel like these three words not only describe me in the best possible way, but are also the elements that I try to bring to (nearly) every character I interpret.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?

A freshly-made, deep-fried Nutella doughnut. The cravings for doughnuts normally always come during exam season or at the weirdest of times.

And your biggest pet peeve?

Time wasting. Theatre and film take up a large amount of time to make, particularly when taking into consideration rehearsal and shooting periods. As grateful as I always am at being given the opportunity to form part of a project, there are instances when I’d be sitting down waiting for my turn to come and think, ‘I’d rather be sipping a pina colada by a pool somewhere…’

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