#BEZZJONI: Marylu Coppini

Photo: Elisa von Brockdorff

Finding parking close to Marylu Coppini’s Saint Paul’s Bay seaside home was no easy feat. After having walked down her street twice to no avail of finding her door we thought we were lost. It was only until we took a closer look that we found this gem of a home hidden behind a gated facade that does no justice to one of the last remaining summer houses in the area.

Greeted by her signature sarcasm, wit and charming front garden, we felt inclined to ask if she enjoys gardening but Marylu was quick to tell us that she’s never gardened and doesn’t intend to start any time soon but does “water… sometimes”.

Her picturesque blue door, proved to be the perfect backdrop and pop of colour needed on what was a rather cloudy day. Making sure that the vileda sponge on her windowsill was out of shot before she posed for this photo she went on to rearrange her hair, find her light and before we knew it was curtain up as she shared her thoughts about life during COVID-19, as part of Teatru Malta’s series #BEZZJONI, a series of door to door encounters with Maltese theatre icons 

Marylu Coppini started her career as an actress at an early age in the children’s film Treasure In Malta shot in Malta in 1962. She later taught drama to children and has taken part in numerous stage productions with various local companies but mainly with the MADC. Her first role as stage director was in 1988 when she directed The Importance of Being Earnest at the Manoel Theatre followed by other major productions including pantomimes, musicals and also Shakespeare plays. Marylu has played various roles in popular television serials including Aħn’Aħna jew Maħniex, Miskin Mike, Villa Sunset, L’erbgħa li Huma, Iċ-Ċaqqufa and others. Currently she is artistic director of the MADC.

‘’I must confess I have so far succeeded in turning this unexpected forced isolation into a much-longed-for opportunity to play the observer. Probably this is because it came upon us when I had just finished playing a demanding role on stage and needed a good break after rehearsals and performances. Truth to tell, however, stage-fright has been replaced by a much deadlier fear of a totally different kind!
I must admit that my initial need for a rest helped me to accept the situation and see it as a time for reflection that is, between trying to create interesting daily meals for my husband and myself! I have just finished putting together the ingredients for what is around the sixtieth supper in succession!

My current stint as artistic director of the MADC has meant being in ‘planning’ mode almost continually for the past seven years and it has been bewildering to come to terms with holding back from immediate plans while witnessing productions that were already cast come to nothing as they are postponed to an unknown future!

On the positive side, the current Covid situation is urging us to make full use of the wonderful technology at our fingertips and next week will see the MADC produce its first streaming of an online One-Act Play. The play deals with the supernatural and presents an interesting list of fine actors who have enjoyed coming out of hibernation to participate in a virtually (!) effortless dramatic exercise! I hope this new kind of production proves to be the first of many.

Hibernation has also forced me to finally attempt to tackle decades of accumulated bits and pieces including various videos and DVD’s of productions I have directed or acted in on both stage and television in order to get these updated for easier access as soon as the situation permits!

Sadly, or perhaps thankfully, I have become accustomed to hibernation and I just hope that when the time eventually comes to re embrace ‘normality’ I will have no problem in re-adjusting to it!’’