Fangless vampires yearning for love are the protagonists of a darkly comic new play by local playwright and producer Adrian Buckle.

Inspired by Agnes Moon’s novel of the same name, The Acrobat (Blood Ties) is directed by Stephen Oliver and stars an international cast, with some actors having purposely travelled  from the US and Germany.

Mr Buckle – who has written a number of plays and is a prolific producer – started adapting the play with Ms Moon and then brought Mr Oliver on board. Their vision was to create a story aligned with the popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer genre, with a selection of very different characters, all tortured by their past but deserving of love.

“Moon develops her characters beautifully,” Mr Buckle said. “They are very well-rounded and shaded with light and darkness. Our intention was to make them as real as possible – so the vampires won’t be wearing fangs! They are very relatable, although they have a sense of the ‘ancient’ to them. They are a metaphor to the fact that everyone, no matter how different, deserves love if they can open up to their feelings.”

Bringing a new piece to the stage is no easy feat. The play, which is opening tonight at Spazju Kreattiv, is untested and Mr Buckle admitted that compromises were necessary.

Everyone, no matter how different, deserves love if they can open up to their feelings

“The rehearsal process has definitely improved the script thanks to the contribution of each actor, all of whom have worked closely with me and Oliver,” he pointed out.

“We perfected the piece and made a number of cuts, especially in places that worked in the book but weren’t ideal for the stage. It is now stripped down to the bone but very striking and compelling.”

The piece itself follows a professional thief with dozens of burglaries to his credit. However, when he finds himself trapped in the enormous abode of a mysterious man, he realises that the police might not be the worst of evils.

The play is only suited to a mature audience and Mr Buckle highlighted there is plenty of violence, some sex and some nudity.

“However, there is also a certain light-heartedness and honesty that, perhaps, wasn’t present in some of Unifaun’s past productions. This is an optimistic play, with lots of dark humour. I am sure it will be a production that audiences will enjoy and remember.”

The Acrobat (Blood Ties) by Unifaun Theatre Productions is being staged at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta until February 24. The production is supported by the MAF Project Fund of the Arts Council Malta. Tickets are available from .


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