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Seeing Red

Tony-award winning play comes to St James Cavalier in February.

Maltese audiences are in for a treat later this month when Tony Award-winning play, Red, opens at St James Cavalier. It will be produced by FM Theatre Productions, the company renowned for past productions including Allo Allo, Ghost Writer, Seascape, Are You Being Served, Ali Baba The Panto and Cinderella The Panto.

Written by Golden Globe winner John Logan – the writer behind numerous film hits including Gladiator, Skyfall and The Aviator – the show has won six Tonys, including including Best New Play in 2010. Locally it is being directed by Simone Spiteri, with Edward Mercieca and Jean-Marc Cafa taking on the roles in this fast-paced two-hander.

The play deals with questions that were as valid in celebrated artist Mark Rothko world in the 1950s as they are today. In the story, celebrated artist Rothko (played by Mercieca) is in his New York studio, painting a group of murals for the expensive and exclusive Four Seasons Restaurant. He gives orders to his assistant, Ken (Cafa), as he mixes the paints, makes the frames and paints the canvases. Ken, however, turns this on its head to question Rothko's theories of art and his decision to work on such a commercial project.

“This production asks some very poignant and timely questions about art and life,” says Spiteri. “Primarily it questions at what stage a generation reaches the point where it should step aside gracefully to pass the baton on to a younger generation. It is a complex piece, and it was extremely important to cast two actors who could hold their own within it. The characters don’t even have time to blink in this 90-minute piece, and it is both intellectually and psychically demanding for both of them”.

Sponsored by the American Embassy, the play is set to be on of the highlights of the season. It will be performed to three sides of the audience and promises to keep those present on the edge of their seats. “St James is the ideal space as it will allow the actors to establish an immediate sense of intimacy with their audience. Every nuance, twitch and breath will be observed by everyone in the theatre.

“Additionally we are vey excited to have Italian set designer, Aldo Moretti, on board. He has successfully turned the theatre into an authentic artist’s studio and it really does feel as though you have walked straight into Rothko’s space.

“I believe this play will give incredible insight, spark debate and inspire all who see it,” she adds.

Red will run on 15, 16, 17, 23, 24, 24 February 2013 at St James Cavalier. Booking is open now on or 2122 3200. Those attending on opening night will be invited to attend the after party with wine and nibbles, where they can meet with the director and cast.