A few miles away from Malta we find the island of Lampedusa. They are two different islands which, however, have a similar story: that of immigration.
Lampedusa is the name of the play which will be performed at St James’ Cavalier, starting from Saturday, which tells the story of two people who find hope in a place where they least expected.
The island of Lampedusa – a paradise on earth – a bridge by means of which North Africa meets Rome. With countryside where the views look like picturesque postcards and where the beaches are covered by white sand. However, this is also the island where, over the last few years, some of the greatest tragedies have occurred right before our eyes.
The play’s producer Adrian Buckle said, “Lampedusa speaks of the situation in the Mediterranean. We spoke to the author and he jokingly said the could have called the play Malta instead of Lampedusa because the realities are the same. There is a frustrated character in the play who askss, ‘where is Europe? Why has it left us alone with this problem?’ This is the same sentiment which the Maltese feel.”
Stefano, a fisherman from Lampedusa, is following in the footsteps of past generations of fishermen in his family before him However, these days he goes fishing for something quite different.
Herman Grech, the director of Lampedusa said, “You have the story of an Italian fishermen, who instead of pulling fish from the sea is pulling up the corpses of immigrants from the Mediterranean. This is a story which we see being repeated around us every day. We see the desperation of a man who is losing his trade as a fishermen, which is his livelihood.”
At the same time, living in one of the poorest corners of the UK, there is Denise, a Syrian woman who is knocking on doors as a debt collector.
Mr Grech said, “In this play we also see the story of this Syrian woman whose job is to collect debts. While she is working, she not only meets with prejudice and racism but also with the social problems around her.”
Lampedusa is a play by Anders Lustgarten, translated into Maltese by Immanuel Mifsud. The play will be playing at St James Cavalier between 13 – 28 February After some of the performances there will be a discussion with the author, Anders Lustgarten.