A lot has been said about Chris Gatt’s recent interview in The Sunday Times of Malta (January 12) and his work at St James Cavalier and I would like to add my own views.
I have worked profusely with Gatt, St James Cavalier being my favourite venue. If St James Cavalier is such a fantastic place to work in, it is all down to Gatt. He has made the space and the set-up completely conducive to creating good theatre. It is the space where the artist is allowed to take risks and where the artist is allowed to push the envelope.
As I look back on my career as Unifaun Theatre artistic director, I realise how many of my productions Gatt supported. He was always there to help make the productions successful, both commercially and artistically.
Gatt also helped Unifaun develop into a successful, semi-professional company that rarely needed to rely on commercial theatre for survival. Thanks to his continued support and advice, I managed to build structures in Unifaun that are now seeing me work internationally with theatre greats from the UK and California.
Thanks to Gatt, Unifaun productions can run for a nine-performance production period at St James Cavalier without suffering too many losses even if the work is usually risqué. Like me, he has helped numerous other artists set up their companies and enjoy successful careers.
I cannot fail to mention Gatt’s work in the demolition of theatre censorship in Malta. We worked together in public and behind the scenes to change that ridiculous law, even when most artists preferred to sit back and not get involved. If theatre censorship is no more, it is mostly due to the Stitching affair, which Gatt masterminded together with me.
Thank you Chris Gatt for all you have done. Your shoes at St James Cavalier will be difficult to fill.
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