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Title: The history and development of Pantomime in Malta
Authors: Spiteri, Stephanie (2014)
Keywords: Pantomime (Christmas entertainment) -- Malta -- History -- 20th century
Malta -- Social life and customs
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: The aim of this Master's dissertation is to document and analyse the history of Christmas pantomime in Malta. The relevance of this research to the history of Maltese theatre stems mainly from the fact that it deals with a specifically British genre which was imported for a British expatriate audience and only later on adopted by Maltese theatre-makers and adapted for consumption by Maltese theatre audiences. While the genre remains very strong in Great Britain, in previously colonised societies it has sometimes been taken as a symbol of the culture that the previous coloniser tried to impose in the colonies, and is nowadays not as strong as it is in Malta. Thus available research in postcolonial theory and postcolonial theatre studies was used to come to terms with a hybrid phenomenon that is linked on one hand to the mother country where the genre first evolved (and which still serves as a reference point for creators of Maltese pantomimes), and on the other hand the whole cultural (including theatrical) as well as political and linguistic baggage which contemporary pantomime productions engage with, whether they are performed in English or in Maltese. The dissertation tries to establish the reasons why pantomime had a modest beginning in Malta, and why the genre became so popular after Independence, and especially after 1979, when logically the demise of a British resident audience should have led to a decline in pantomime's popularity. However, this study shows that there were many more performances of pantomime during the period before 1979 than was previously thought, and it analyses the main differences in the way pantomime was produced as well as the way it was perceived between the two periods. While the critical framework is postcolonialism, the dissertation also utilises various local sources to help create as complete a picture as possible of the development of the genre in Malta. Live performances taking place during the period the research is being undertaken serve as examples of current practice. Newspaper reviews and theatre programmes, press interviews and playscripts, besides interviews with theatre practitioners who have contributed to the genre, are all utilised.
Description: M.A.THEATRE STUD.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - SchPA - 2014

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