Based on a true-life love story from World War II, this new musical by Philip Glassborow takes us back to the wild days of Valletta's most famous street. The beautiful singer Christina Ratcliffe arrives at The Morning Star in "The Gut" to entertain the troops. Then she meets the dashing RAF air-ace, Flying Officer Adrian Warburton. And the rest is history! Staying on in Malta throughout the war, Christina works in the Lascaris War Rooms. She's awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to the RAF, and becomes known as ‘Christina of George Cross Island’. The play stars Polly March, Larissa Bonaci and Geoff Thomas, and features wartime standards like “I’ll Be Seeing You” alongside original songs such as “Welcome to Valletta”. It's a feast for theatre and music lovers, enthusiasts of Maltese history, and anyone looking for a good show!
SOME PRESS REVIEWS OF THE PREMIERE
“A highly enjoyable show which traces the human elements of Malta’s wartime past, while showcasing quality talent and a story which is both intriguing and endearing. Definitely one to watch.” - Andre Delicata, Times of Malta
“It’s nostalgic, it’s about love, and beautiful people, but it’s also about strength and courage and serves as a window on life in Malta during the war… The beautiful Christina Ratcliffe… met Adrian Warburton, at 26 the most decorated pilot in the RAF, eccentric, crazy, gallant beyond belief. How could she not fall in love with him? With their personalities, zest and determination, they became living symbols of the island’s unconquerable spirit.” - Veronica Stivala, Times of Malta
PHILIP GLASSBOROW has written a number of musicals, notably ’The Great Big Radio Show’ (Watermill Theatre, Newbury; Manoel Theatre, Valletta; and York Theatre, New York) and ‘Welcome To Terezin,’ commissioned by Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre (also at Provincetown Playhouse, Greenwich Village and the Edinburgh Festival). Other stage credits include ‘Christopher Himself’ (The Point, Eastleigh), ‘Peter Pan And Wendy’ (Watermill Theatre and Yvonne Arnaud Theatre) and ‘A Kid For Two Farthings’ (Bridewell Theatre). His new musical ‘Star of Strait Street’ will be performed as part of Valletta 2018: European Capital of Culture.
Philip’s many TV and radio credits include ‘Andy Serkis: Playing Screwtape’ (Sky Arts), ‘Beatrix Potter’s Favourite Tale’ (BBC), ‘Charlie Chaplin, Composer’ (BBC) and ‘Who The Wild Things Are’ (BBC).
Director & Playwright
POLLY MARCH was born in Malta, and educated in England, then trained at Guildhall.
She has worked professionally in most theatres in England, playing everything from Queen Victoria to a parrot, via any number of Ray Cooney farces and Agatha Christie thrillers!
She created the role of Mrs Beaver in ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ in the West End.
Created the role of Myrtle, in Phiip Glassborow’s cult pastiche 1930s musical, ‘The Great Big Radio Show’ and then directed it here in Malta, at The Manoel.
Polly has worked extensively on radio, playing Tinkerbell in the BBC Christmas special Peter Pan, and many other roles, voice overs, poetry programmes, and talking books.
Musicals include Lucy in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Myrtle in TGBRS and now, Christina in Star of Strait Street.
Two of her solo shows have won awards, and ‘Beauty and The Bounders’, her solo performance as Lilian Baylis of The Old, was also commissioned by the BBC and then she was appointed Artist in Residence to NYU. She also performed ‘My Brilliant Divorce’, here at St James Cavalier.
Since settling in Malta, Polly has both appeared in, and directed, a number of plays, ranging from ‘The Alchemist’, for Unifaun, ‘The Mousetrap’ and ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ for MADC, and three Shakespeare productions, most recently The Taming of The Shrew at San Anton.
LARISSA BONACI trained at the prestigious "American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles" with many professionals, including an exclusive workshop with Mr. Alfred Molina. Graduating, in 2007 with an Associate of Arts Degree in Acting and completing an Advanced Acting programme in 2008 she is currently based in Europe.
In Los Angeles she had the opportunity to perform various roles at The Charles Jellinger Theatre: "Emilia": Othello and "Doreen": Tartuffe. She features in "Saul: The Journey to Damascus" as 'Ester' which premiered in Canada late 2014. "Saul" also aired on Rai T.V. in April 2014.
Larissa has also featured alongside Colm Meaney in the "A Dangerous Arrangement" 2015 and played a CIA agent in Michael Bay's film "13 hours" 2016. Larissa won the award for 'Best Performance' for her role in "Don't We All" at the Malta Cine Cinema National Film Competition 2013.
In Malta Larissa is most known for her role as "Amy" in "La Farfalla" on One T.V. She has made appearances on the following local drama series: La Famiglia, Xablott, Caqquffa and many more. In the theatre scene her most memorable performances are in "Salome" as "Salome", "Alice in Wonderland" as "Alice", "Pinocchio - The Panto" as "The Blue Fairy", "The Burial at Thebes" as Antigone", "The Comedy Knights" as "Tiziana" and many more.
Larissa has also presented many events and television programmes most notably the satire show "Illostra", Malta.
A dancer with fourteen years experience in Ballet and classically trained Soprano she has also performed in various musicals at the Manoel Theatre, Malta. In 2014 Larissa graduated from the University of Malta obtaining a bachelor's degree in Psychology and is currently reading a Masters in Theatre Studies and Performance.
Amongst her many theatre and television performances Larissa has recently produced the entertainment programme “Cook Off” on ONE TV. She was the Production Coordinator on the movie “Habbilni ha Nirbah” which is currently in post-production, produced by the European Capital of Culture, Valletta 2018.
GEOFFREY THOMAS is a Welshman, musician, husband, father, and grandfather, though not necessarily in that order. He has been singing, accompanying and conducting for over fifty years and has no plans to stop. Work in musicals and opera started whilst at school with various works by Gilbert and Sullivan and Bizet’s Carmen. Since then Geoff has: trained as a repetiteur at the London Opera Centre, sung the title role in the first performance of Noye’s Fludde in Poland, sung the role of Papageno dressed in feathers and a jock-strap, conducted in Kazakhstan, and is old enough to have worked with Hans Hotter, Peter Pears, Geraint Evans, Russ Conway, Moira Anderson, and James Blades. He was musical director of the award-winning Opera Gogledd Cymru, performing operas in communities in North Wales including Hansel and Gretel in Welsh, Eugen Onegin in a chapel, and The Marriage of Figaro all over the place. He recently became the first person to have written, and had performed, an opera in Welsh and a musical in Maltese.
Since moving to Malta in 2013, Geoff has been involved in music of all kinds. He has already played with two Gozitan and two Maltese bands, including a performance of The Dream of Olwen at Teatru Manoel. He was chorus repetiteur for La clemenza di Tito, then chorus master for L’elisir d’amore, Orphée et Eurydice, and Le nozze di Figaro. In 2018, he will be chorus master for both Don Giovanni and Aħna Refuġjati, a new Maltese opera written especially for Valletta 2018. He was onstage throughout every performance of The Great Big Radio Show and The Star of Strait Street is the second show by Philip Glassborow that he has been involved with - and this also sees him on stage for every minute!