This show was first staged in March 2009 as an amateur cabaret-type revue in Valetta on the island of Malta. With some financial support from an enthusiastic Cameron Mackintosh, the original company re-created the show for the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009. It was then re-cast with established British professionals for this London debut. Praised for its witty dialogue and hilarious lyrics, this was generally welcomed as an entertaining satire, though some complained of its demeaning attitude to women.
Innocent Maltese, Stefan, on the eve of his marriage to childhood sweetheart Jade, finds out that she has slept with everyone in Malta. So he flees to America to live the American Dream. But the moment he arrives he meets Marvin Scoresleazy, the flashy, medallioned porn-film director who is desperate to finish his latest film to pay off his Mob creditors. Stefan gets caught up in this sleazy world, and with the film’s leading players, the hunky well-endowed Dr Johnny and the equally well endowed Sanddy (with a Double D). The various parts of the plot are linked by an endearingly smarmy Narrator (in “Rocky Horror” style) and by a Miscellaneous Man who complainingly plays all the bit parts. Finally Stefan decides to return home to Jade – though initially no one can find Malta on the map because they are all “bloody Yanks” (a convenient rhyme, of course!)
Despite its title, there is no porn in this musical
In 2008 Maltese scriptwriter Malcolm Galea caught up with the equally Maltese composer Kris Spiteri and the somewhat less Maltese music producer Boris Cezek with the intention of creating a musical. This show was only ever meant to run over two weekends at a theatre in the backstreets of Valletta and the writers' main intention was to see how well they worked together. Another aim of theirs was to enjoy themselves - and if the audience had a good time also, it would have been an added bonus.
At some point, someone suggested Porn the Musical as a possible title. For reasons that no-one can remember anymore, nobody disagreed and so the writers set about creating the story of Stefan Bugeja - the hapless young Maltese man who leaves his island home and follows his dreams to America. Once there, he swiftly and unwittingly gets embroiled in the porn industry, falls in love with a porn star, and single-handedly saves his beleaguered studio from bankruptcy. The tone of the show was to have all the wide-eyed wonder of a Disney movie while poking fun at musicals and adult movies alike. Auditions were held in November 2008 and about twelve people showed up.
On the 6th March 2009, Porn the Musical opened at the Mediterranean Institute Theatre Programme (MITP) in Malta's capital Valletta. The original cast, although amateur, had enough enthusiasm and energy to keep the audience enthralled for the full two-hour duration and a third weekend had to be opened. And so it came to pass that after nine shows, the final blackout (there was no curtain) fell on Porn the Musical for the last time.
But alas ’twas not to be. Maltese film producer Winston Azzopardi happened to be among the audience and was enamoured by the show. He approached the writers with a lot of big producer-type talk and before anyone knew it, they found themselves on their way to London to meet the god of all things musical: Cameron Mackintosh. Impressed, intrigued or merely amused by the boys' effort, Sir Cameron offered them some financial aid to take the show to the Edinburgh Fringe and, thanks to some further assistance from the Malta Arts Fund, Porn the Musical was suddenly being prepared for Edinburgh.
Two songs were dropped and the script was trimmed down to fit into the 75-minute time frame, and the festival version of Porn the Musical was then tested with a seven-day run at Argotti Gardens in Floriana in July 2009. After that, the production moved to the George IV Theatre for a full run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2009. The Maltese cast held their own against the professional actors that were featured in most of other musicals and when the dust cleared, it was found that the show had garnered mostly 4-Star reviews and was also nominated for Best New Musical.
Even though it didn’t win, the writers of Porn the Musical couldn't believe their luck - particularly as producers seemed to come out of nowhere everyday to offer the musical a run at a multitude of other fringe venues. In the end it was decided that the musical will next go to the London Fringe via Theatre503.
And so it came to pass that Porn the Musical was produced in London throughout April 2010 - sadly shedding the faithful Maltese cast that had worked so hard in favour experienced West End actors. The show was also restored to its pre-Edinburgh length with a couple of extra songs and scenes thrown in for good measure. Yet again, the audience reaction was fantastic and the writers were blown away with the mostly 4-Star reviews - particularly when the musical was named Time Out Critics' Choice.
The latest news is that Porn the Musical has won Best New Musical at the Off West End Theatre Awards. The musical was praised for its "fearless explosion of heart, soul and cleavage".
It’s uncertain as to exactly when the Porn journey will end but one thing is for sure: this little show that started off on a tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean is making some waves and its creators are really grateful for the adventure so far.
1. Everyone in Malta is Related / So Young and yet so Slutty
2. America / In the Streets of LA
3. Sanddy (with a Double-D)
4. Welcome to the World of Porn
5. I’ve got a PhD
6. Do as I Say
7. Naked on a Sunday
8. Many Ways to do it
9. America (Reprise)
10. The Kind of Girl I am
11. This can’t be Good
12. Sit Down, Shut Up, and Listen
13. Where the F*ck is Malta?
14. I’ll Stick to you like Herpes
15. I like him Anyway
16. Plight of the Miscellaneous Man
17. The Song where Everyone Bitches
18. The Last Shot
19. The Kind of Man I am (Reprise)
20. You can go Home Now
• Stefan Bugeja -The young hero of the story starts off naïve and endlessly optimistic. He goes off to America in search of freedom and finds much more than he bargained for.
• Sanddy - A young porn star with a very promising future. Known for her sweet personality as much as for her famous double-ds; Sanddy is also a hopeless romantic and is looking for her true love.
• Martin Scoresleazy - A sleazy porn director who still believes that he will one day produce a film of historic significance. Marvin would do anything to get what he wants.
• Dr. Johnny Long - The main stud in the studio, Dr Johnny is incredibly cool and confident. He instantly takes a liking to Stefan and decides to be his mentor in the world of porn.
• Jade - Stefan’s ex-girlfriend is young and slutty. Although she is not a porn star, her morals leave a lot to be desired.
• The Miscellaneous Man -The show contains many small, dull and completely unmemorable characters that self-respecting actors usually go out of their way to avoid. The Miscellaneous Man plays them all. This guy narrates the story and is a general smart-arse.
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Porn - The musical (2010-04-Theatre 503-London)Type de série: Original
Théâtre: Theatre 503 (Londres - Angleterre) Durée : 3 semaines Nombre : Première Preview : mardi 06 avril 2010Première : vendredi 09 avril 2010Dernière : samedi 01 mai 2010Mise en scène : Paul Robinson • Chorégraphie : Ally Holmes • Producteur : Avec : Brendan Cull (Stefan), Jody Peach (Jade), David Burt (Marvin Scoresleazy), Alain Terzoli (Dr Johnny) , Sophia Thierens (Sanddy), Malcolm Galea (Narrator), Ahmet Ahmet (Miscellaneous Man)
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