THE INCOMPARABLE ANTHONY BEZZINA

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Date of Birth: Please don’t tell them how old I am!

Location: St Julian’s

Relationship Status: Married to Veronica

Star Sign: Scorpio

Main Occupation: Theatre producer and director of M Space

Anthony Bezzina is one of the leading men in the local theatre scene, with a career that spans over three decades. Since 1979, he has formed part of Maleth, MADC, and Atturi, and has worked with and directed pretty much every top local actor that there is.

His training was undertaken at the Malta Theatre Academy of Dramatic Arts (MTADA), and later at the Webber Double in London. His first major work in theatre, the direction of Molière’s Tartuffe at the Manoel, earned him Best Production of the Year Award. Anthony has also acted in a number of pantomimes.

How has being a Scorpio influenced you as a person and as a director?

I’m a leader, but I also believe in being sensitive and intuitive, and when dealing with people, one simply has to be just that. On the other hand, motivating people is my mojo in action.

You’ve had a prolific career directing theatrical productions. Which have you enjoyed most?

At Masquerade, we like to keep things varied, so we’ve done numerous different shows. Some of my favourites would probably be Cabaret, Amadeus, Blackbird, Doubt, The Rocky Horror Show and more recently, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

What can you tell us about the upcoming musical The Last Five Years?

We have two super protagonists, Rachel Fabri and Joseph Zammit, who have both grown up through us. We also have a live band that makes the production more technical, and we’ll also be unveiling the newly upgraded Blue Box Theatre at M Space, complete with new seats and a new set!

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What changes have you experienced since you first started in the late 70s?

I started doing the rounds as a child in Maleth, and then I moved on to the MADC, where I was in various roles within the acting and the management team. From the MADC, I moved to Atturi, back when Carmen Azzopardi still ran it. She was amazing!

Now we have our own school of performing arts, and there are a lot more students studying with us and other schools here in Malta than ever before. The result of this is that students now leave us to study in the UK, and then bring their professionalism and higher standards upon their return to Malta. This means that the standard of work is higher and that there are also more members of the Maltese population making a living from theatre. We’ve also increased job opportunities in peripheral skills too, such as set building, costume making and special effects, to name but a few.

What three words best describe you?

Definite, stubborn and energetic.

If you could give an aspiring student one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be reliable and keep clear of the Diva syndrome. You are more likely to be excluded than included if you cannot be punctual and a team player… Punctuality is God to me.

What is your favourite way to relax?

I never relax. I don’t sleep much, either. I believe it is my passion that keeps me young and mobile.

The Last Five Years will take place at Blue Box at M Space in Msida between the 20th and 23rd, and the 27th and 29th November. Tickets cost €18 for opening weekend and between €20 and €25 for the following weekend.