Bettina Paris’s first full-length play, Sisyphean Quick Fix, is a drama comedy that explores themes of addiction, migration and family from a fresh perspective.

The play, which will debut in Malta this June at Theatre Next Door, explores the lives of two sisters – Krista in London and Pip in Malta – as they come to terms with their father’s relationship with drinking.

The play explores the complicated dynamics of caring for a person suffering with addiction as well as the complexities migrants have to navigate when they have pressing issues at home.

Sisyphean Quick Fix is the brainchild of the actor and artist Paris who, while based in United Kingdom, began working on the play four years ago.

“I am writing from personal experience. It is definitely not a biography, but it is inspired by some lived experiences,” she said.

Paris, like any other migrant, has experienced the pull of responsibility to lend a helping hand at home, but she also has first-hand experience caring for someone struggling with addiction.

She is using the play as a vessel for the audience to delve into their preconceived notions of addiction.

Bettina ParisBettina Paris

“It is an engrained part of our culture to drink. It is part of the island life for us to have a drink with every meal,” said Paris, who believes that this culture has unconsciously made a lot of people feel isolated and ashamed, which in part makes it difficult to access the resources that they need.

Therefore, throughout the play’s run, Paris is collaborating with Aġenzija Sedqa, Malta’s primary agency that works to prevent substance abuse as well as care for the users and their families.

After every show, a Q&A will be held with a representative from Aġenzija Sedqa and Paris.

“We have a very skewed perception of what addiction looks like. But the more we can engage in conversations about it, the more normalised it becomes for people to get help,” said Paris.

We have a very skewed perception of what addiction looks like- Bettina Paris

Paris is conscious that the topic can be heavy at times and, because of that, they made the stylistic choice to use humour as a tool to tackle these issues.

“In the extreme, you find the ridiculousness. And sometimes it is easier with heavier messages to come across in a light way because it makes it more heartfelt,” said Paris.

When writing the piece, Paris was acutely aware that this would be performed not only to a local audience but to a British one as well. Therefore, even though the play is primarily in English, Paris chose for the characters to code-switch between English and Maltese to highlight her ‘Malteseness’.

The play explores the complicated dynamics of caring for a person with addiction and the complexities migrants have to navigate.The play explores the complicated dynamics of caring for a person with addiction and the complexities migrants have to navigate.

This decision was borne out of Paris’s experience as a Maltese actor in the UK. Paris said, “As a Maltese actor, our pool of roles is very limited and we are left, more often than not, with roles labelled as generic foreigners. So, I wanted to make something distinctly for us.”

According to Paris, the linguistic choice was well received by the actor Tina Rizzo, who alongside Paris stars in the play. Paris thanked Rizzo for her input and said that working with Rizzo has made them a better artist. And without her and Nicky Allpress, the play’s director, the show would not be possible, she said.

“I am at a stage in life where I want to work with people who can make me feel I can fly, and I’m lucky enough to have found that with them,” she concluded. 

Sisyphean Quick Fix will be staged at Theatre Next Door on June 13-16. All ticket sales will contribute to the play’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe run. This project is supported by the Keep it Fringe fund. The fund is led by celebrated actor and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is also the honorary president of the Fringe Society. For more information and to book your tickets, visit

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