Radio drama to return as MCCA and PBS team up to produce award-winning scripts
A series of award-winning radio plays will be aired on local radio as the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts and Public Broadcasting Services Ltd have teamed up to bring radio drama back on the airwaves.
Starting in February, the radio plays, which are being co-produced by the Public Broadcasting Services Ltd (PBS) and the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts (MCCA), will be broadcast on the first Friday of every month at 14.30 on Radju Malta 2.
The six scripts, which are the winners of the Premju Francis Ebejer, the national theatre scriptwriting award, are currently being recorded and post-produced with the latest technology at PBS’s new Radio Department, situated within the Creativity Hub.
The plays – which include four past winners as well as the winner and runner-up of last year’s edition – are Kwadri minn Wirja written and directed by Joe Friggieri; Kanon għal Erba’ Ilħna, written and directed by George Peresso; Kiesaħ u Biered, written by Anthony Portelli, directed by George Peresso and performed by Bakkanti; Lippu d-Doggi, written by Anthony Portelli and directed by Tyrone Grima; Fuq il-Bjut, written by Vincent Vella, directed by John Suda; and KM613 minn Ruma, written and directed by Joe Friggieri. Actors include well-known names such as Godwin Scerri, Ninette Micallef, Theresa Friggieri and Michael Tabone.
“This initiative was born through PBS’ commitment to contribute towards the strengthening of the accessibility of Maltese literature to its audiences and listeners,” said PBS chairman Tonio Portughese. MCCA chair Albert Marshall added: “The Malta Council for Culture and the Arts felt the need to breathe new life into the radio play genre which has been completely sidelined by stations until now.”
In recent years, in fact, radio drama has tended to fade from the airwaves. Without visuals to distract, it is different from conventional theatre in that it seems to pare away at the reality portrayed. Words take on a deeper meaning; silence and sounds, too, take on a different quality. Without shared visuals, too, the imagination plays a part in an experience that, while being broadcast publicly, becomes strangely private.
So if you would like to know more about what was said during an airport conversation between two former lovers or how two couples that live in the same building, yet inhabiting different worlds, come together in the backdrop of the Cairo revolution – or even listen to the story about the consequences faced by a man who wakes up late for work while looking at alternative realities and exploring the Maltese psyche, tune in to Radio Malta 2 on the first Friday of every month at 1430hrs.
The radio plays are being co-produced by Public Broadcasting Services Ltd and the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts together with the support of Middlesea, a member of Mapfre Group.
Photography: Elisa von Brockdorff