The Waiting Room (2014)



Everybody hates waiting.

However the four women in this waiting room come up with ingenious ways to kill the time. They become experts at the waiting game.

In doing so, they resort to some very interesting activities … Some of us might just take a page out of their book and try out some of their fun stuff the next time we’re waiting for the lawyer, gynaecologist, dentist or hairdresser.

Who knows? We might make a few new friends … Or enemies.



Performed on: Friday 25th April 2014 at 7:30pm, 8:45pm and 10pm

At: Cut Me Coiffeur, Rue de Flandre 37, Brussels

Performed by: Antonella Axisa, Miriam Galea, Sephora Gauci and Loranne Vella

Directed by: Simon Bartolo




loss cuts her
and in the silent whispers of her sweat
she sees his smiling eyes

shock numbs her
and in the deep dark corners of her days
she feels his daring shove

grief floods her
and in the slow sweet sadness of her nights
she swears she sees him stare

fumbling pleasure. hands
touching. death touching.
her own would. have
made it. okay .

Loss cleaves her
and in the clammy cauldron of her cunt
she spills her bitter tears


moaning monster magnet more

and in the callow cavern of her grief
discovers hope and
finds relief


Loss is an intense solo piece which deals with the difficult process of grief which a young widow suffers. The wordlessness of the piece represents the universality of the theme since pain is understood on a direct level, without the use of any one particular language. The result is a “play” which comes across as a hybrid between dance, physical theatre and drama in which the performer – Antonella Axisa – gives an electrifying performance under the visionary direction of writer and director Simon Bartolo.


Loss was performed on the 25th and 26th of July 2010 at the St James Cavalier Theatre, Valletta



Everything is what it seems… in a play where I come to terms with some of the scenes that have puzzled me for a long time in Shakespeare’s plays. Why does Cleopatra just turn around and leave Antony to his own devices in Actium if she loved him so much? Why does Hamlet want to kill his uncle but finds it so hard to decide? And why oh why does Iago act the way he does? Well, because of the equivocators of course! But who are they? Ah, that remains to be seen. Do they themselves know who they are? Do I? Is everything really what it seems? Of course it is…


The Author
This performance was written specifically for the Shakespearean Commemoration of 2006, organised annually by the British Culture Association. The evening was held at St. James Cavalier on 26 April 2006.


Witch Lawyers – Toni Attard, Veronica Stivala, Sephora Gauci
Macbeth / Arthur’s Ghost – Gilbert Micallef

Written by Simon Bartolo

Lights – Joseph Vella
Graphic Design & Video – Olwyn Jo Saliba

Special thanks to:
Lizzie Eldridge
Alex Vella Gregory
Mario Vella
Dorothy Baldacchino
Kari McKay




The hollow room is the empty theatre that can be transformed by the imagination of playwright, director, performers and, audience into anything they choose it to be. Like Shakespeare’s ‘Wooden O’ which characterised the prologue to Henry V , the hollow room can become a palace, a forest, an island, a vessel, a cottage, a lake… anything! It is a theatre structure which allows the performers to move from one production to the next according to the particular requirements of the current project.

This time the hollow room becomes the mind of Hans Christian Andersen, his imagination, opening possibilities that can only be dreamt of in the life quotidian. It becomes his stories, his moods, his travels, his emotions…

Aleateia’s Waiting Room (2003: Malta , Greece ) has been refurbished with the help of Du` Theatre Troupe. The duality created by the two groups blurs until it becomes a perfect unity in which performers embark on a journey of pure fun, and play around to their hearts’ content around the boundless world that is Andersen’s.

The Hollow Room has been officially selected to participate in The Meeting Place 2005: A Tribute to Hans Christian Andersen , in Esbjerg , Denmark on the 11 th of October.



Victoria Vella
Loranne Vella
Magda Van Kuilenburg
Simone Spiteri
Franica Pulis
Sephora Gauci
Chris Galea

Tim Ellis

Olwyn Jo Saliba

Victoria Vella
Florrie Vella
Marisa Spiteri

Paper Cut for poster
Simone Spiteri

Olwyn Jo Saliba

Chris Galea
Simone Spiteri
Simon Bartolo

Front of House
Joseph Vella
Veronica Stivala
Gilbert Micallef
Dorothy Baldacchino

Music Composed & Performed by Chris Galea

Emperor’s New Clothes Songs by Simon Bartolo

Written & Directed by Simon Bartolo


Today is supposed to be Robert and Catherine’s wedding day.

But Robert is tied to a chair in a darkened room. What happened?

A dark game for two players.
Aleateia turn to realistic theatre this year as they strip the theatrical experience down to its bare essentials in this mysterious half-hour drama in Maltese.

Simon Bartolo as Robert
Loranne Vella as Julie
Music by Chris Galea
Written & Directed by Simon Bartolo



Edmund Zanter – Chris Galea
Emiliana Fogli – Dorothy Baldacchino
Liliana Fogli – Sephora Gauci
La Signora Fogli – Loranne Vella
Mr Ironwood – Gilbert Micallef
Miss Steppendolf – Olwyn Jo Saliba
Miss Pume – Veronica Stivala
Mr Jay – Joseph Vella

Original musical score by Chris Galea

Written and Directed by Simon Bartolo

Drowning Lilies painting by Vanni Pule’


“Should we impose our values on others at the cost of their happiness? Should we allow our shared cultural values to be taken over by new “cool” ones at the expense of our contentment? This is the theme explored by this intriguing play. On one level it is a story about Siamese twins who are happy to live sharing a hip, and the reaction the world has towards them, finally persuading them to conform to the value of independent living. Their delight in being one is truly enchanting.

On another I felt it was a commentary about the value the western world puts on individualism and how this emphasis is destroying other collective cultures which are based much more on interdependence and the importance of the togetherness. The consequences of the loss in connectiveness is brought out poignantly and leaves in the viewer a sense of the great emptiness that being ‘free’ can offer. “

Mary Ann Borg Cunen
Psychology Department
University of Malta




Written by: Simon Bartolo

Directed by: Simon Bartolo (from an idea by Chris Galea)

Performers: Toni Attard as Lord Creon, Sephora Gauci as Ms. Ismene, Anna Formosa as Lady Sandra-Therese, Chris Galea as Mr. Thebes

Music by Gilbert Micallef (download clip)

Ten years have passed since Antigone’s cruel death and the city is besieged by decadence. Creon, Lord of Thebes, is a broken man. He can barely move without aid. Of the four children to be born from the incestuous union between his sister Jocasta and her son Oedipus, only Ismene remains alive.

The Theban tragedy is of such immense proportions that it verges on the absurd. Aleateia found the plate already broken and has worked with the fragments and shards that remained. The result is a half-hour concoction of absurdist tragedy, anachronism, nihilism, mystery, murder, mayhem and – most of all – dust.


Written by: Simon Bartolo (based on William Shakespeare’s Sonnets)

Directed by: Simon Bartolo

Dates: 22nd , 24th April 2004

Venues: St. James Cavalier Theatre in the Round (22nd), Sapienza’s Bookshop (24th)

Performers: Anthony Attard, Loranne Vella, Anna Formosa, Sephora Gauci, Victor Debono, Kevin Attard, Dominic Dimech, Thomas Camilleri, Annabelle Galea, Chiara Frendo, Veronica Stivala

Aleateia’s third BCA Shakespeare Commemoration. Collaborating with various actors including ex-members (Victor, Chiara, Dominic) and non Aleateia members (Kevin, Thomas, Annabelle), we built short playlets based on six sonnets by William Shakespeare. The pieces varied from representational to abstract and from comic to serious. The evening was neatly tied together with the presence of the Bard himself (played by Toni). Everything was preceded by a very interesting lecture on the sonnets by Dr Clare Thake Vassallo.



irected by: Simon Bartolo

Date: 2nd April 2004

Venue: MITP

Performers: Anthony Attard, Loranne Vella, Anna Formosa, Antonella Axisa, Sephora Gauci, Dominic Dimech, Kevin Attard, Victor Debono, Annabelle Galea

“Aleateia’s first proper collaboration ever – both with non-Aleateia actors and with musicians. We have worked with a band before (One Dead Poet) in our 1999 production Blazing Orchids but on that occasion, the band worked along with our text, with our story. The difference with Vitamins and Eyecream was that it was conceived by Niki Gravino so it was the reverse situation – we had to work along with his music. Faced with three original songs and two cover versions we encountered problems. Our greatest task was to create a theatrical situation which was reminiscent of a club gig and at the same time avoiding ending up as dancers or animators.
What I did was give the actors fragments of lyrics (phrases or single words) to work on. They produced movement sequences but since they’d never heard the songs themselves, they didn’t produce dance pieces. They worked in couples, trios and groups of fours. When all five sequences were completely ready, I played the songs and the actors just (!) had to fit what they had prepared to the time-frame of each song.
Next we turned the MITP into a club with professional lighting and sound, a bar, a DJ, screens, a cd-vending stand, etc. Madame Marie (Antonella Axisa), a French hostess to whom the “club” belonged, welcomed everybody – even greeting them in the street before the doors opened. The four Bruces (Dominic, Kevin, Toni Victor) provided some scary entertainment.”
Simon Bartolo


Written by: Simon Bartolo

Directed by: Simon Bartolo

Dates: 24th, 25th, 29th, 30th May 2003; 12th June 2003, 26th October 2003

Venues: Drama Centre Mikelang Borg (May); Athens (June); Astra, Gozo (October)

Performers: Anthony Attard, Chris Galea, Massimo Farrugia, Loranne Vella, Anna
Formosa, Antonella Axisa, Sephora Gauci

Abstract in style, The Waiting Room works on kitsch and empty laughter to expose the failings of our inane world in which we are always waiting for something to happen. We are always following some promise to improve our lives. This changes in nature from religious to technological, but ultimately the effect is the same – waiting. We wait for a messiah, a super-hero, an ultimate rock star, a fantastic political leader. We wait for peace. The new promise is globalisation, which threatens us with sameness and lack of individuality. It is this new promise which is parodied in The Waiting Room.

The Waiting Room formed part of the International Drama Festival which celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Mikelang Borg Drama Centre. Aleateia also performed The Waiting Room in the XI Biennial Of Your Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean held in Athens.
Finally, the same performance formed part of the Mediterranean Fringe Festival held in Astra Theatre in Gozo.