The Malta Classics Association has teamed up with Mediteatru Group to produce an original play for this summer’s Evenings on Campus arts festival at the University of Malta.
Ovidius in exsilio is a play in Maltese written by Ġorġ Peresso. The author has combined fact and fiction in this new take at one of the most intriguing episodes from ancient history. Ovidius was the celebrated poet who dazzled Rome with his poetry of wanton seduction and mythical metamorphoses. In AD 8, at the height of his poetical powers, Ovidius fell into disgrace with Emperor Augustus. The cause remains unknown, but the penalty was terrible. The emperor banished him for the rest of his life to half-barbaric Tomis on the bleak coast of the Black Sea.
Far away from the charms and comforts of civilization, we find the ageing Ovidius dying of boredom. He desperately clings to the fading hope that an official pardon would one day bring him back to Rome. Time is against him, his health is diminishing, and he fears his muse is abandoning him. Suddenly, a new burst of creativity gives him a fresh lease of life. He will teach the barbarians the glorious Latin language. He will make them understand the grandeur that is Rome. He will sow the seeds of civilization in this land of exile. What is it that has caused this sudden surge in a moribund fire? Will Ovidius ever succeed in this maddened endeavour?
Keith Borg is directing his second major work as a theatre-director. The cast comprises of Anthony Ellul, Simone De Battista, Mark Schembri, Claudio Carta, Kurt Pawley, and Chris Scicluna. Performances will be held on the 26th and 27th of July at the Atriju Vassalli of the University of Malta, and both shows are set to start at 9 pm. Tickets can be bought from Room 133, Administration Building, University of Malta or by phoning on 2340 2043/ 2340 2142 or by sms on 7984 3480 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This production is being staged in conjunction with another event featured in this year’s Evenings on Campus programme. The established German artist Monika Beisner will be exhibiting her collection of illustrations inspired by Ovidius’ Metamorphoses at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta between 24th July and 15th August. Beisner is an internationally renowned artist who has been residing in Gozo for the past few years.
For more information, please visit http://www.classicsmalta.org/.