Interview with Jordan Mifsud

Jordan Mifsud is currently starring in Orange Tree Theatre’s Shaw Shorts: How He Lied to Her Husband and Overruled, two short plays by George Bernard Shaw. I caught up with Jordan to find out more about his latest roles.

How did you get into theatre?
I got into it because my older brother is severely dyslexic, and my parents rightly thought drama classes would be a great way to build his confidence with language and communication. They sent me along too so that I didn’t feel left out… I caught the acting bug and the rest is history as they say! 

Can you tell me about Shaw Shorts?
Shaw Shorts is a double-bill of short George Bernard Shaw plays that is reopening the Orange Tree Theatre to a live audience. They’re a pair of fizzling one-act comedy of manners style plays that both deal with themes of fidelity (or rather infidelity) in marriages.

They’ve been cleverly chosen and scheduled by Paul and are very much the type of thing I think we need right now to reopen theatres to what may be a cautious live audience and I hope very much encourage people back.

They’re snappy, full of giggles, frivolity and heart which I think will be welcomed after a year of doom and gloom!

What was it about the production that made you want to get involved?
Quite seriously to perform live again! 

I’ve worked at the Orange Tree with Paul Miller before so when the offer came through, I didn’t give it a second thought and jumped (quite literally) at the opportunity to come back. The OT feels very much like home for me, I love the intimacy of the space and even more so than ever the challenge of creating that feeling during a time when physical closeness is so taboo was really appealing.

What can audiences expect?
An entertaining trip out of their own homes and a bit of joyful escapism from what I’m sure has been a very hard time for everyone. Paul, Simon Daw the designer and the rest of the brilliant creative team have done a fantastic job remoulding the space into a socially distanced live theatre that will feel more like an artistic concept than anything else, and hopefully just as intimately atmospheric as before. 

As for the performances we have of course been very cautious as to how it’s staged, and there will be moments of unavoidable contact between the cast, but everything has been carefully thought through and choreographed in a way that will feel natural and seamless.

Anyway, as Paul always says “sometimes the most intimate moments on stage are when you are at your most physically farthest apart…” – he’s a very wise man.

Can you tell me about your character?
I’m lucky to be in both plays so I get two roles to play around and have fun with. 

I play Teddy Bompas in ‘How He Lied to Her Husband’ who is a very wealthy guy that wouldn’t look out of place in the “who’s who” section of some glossy magazine. He’s well connected and enjoys collecting the very best people from all walks of life which only adds to his charm and appeal. You get the impression he’s the business savvy sibling of some high-flying socialite family. However, his enigmatic and ethereal wife Aurora doesn’t quite fit into the immediate familial circle but is adored by all others, and Teddy loves this rare collectable more than anything else!

In ‘Overruled’ I play Sibthorpe Juno; an excitable and passionate solicitor who in his mind has gone on an adventure to find “the wicked thing”. He has a very happy and loving marriage with his adoring and adorable wife Mrs Juno, however he feels he’s missing that untouchable passion that every tight-lipped Englishman longs for… he’s a gorgeous character and a lot of fun to play!

How excited are you to get back on stage and perform in front of a live audience?
More than I can possibly put into words, it’s a very emotional experience knowing I’m going to be performing live again.

This past year I’ve been working a 9-5 day job, and aside from a couple of short filming gigs it’s been hard to keep up the faith and motivation at times which I think a lot of folk in the industry have felt. I started volunteering in my local vaccine centre not only to help out but to get that sense of unexpected connection with people that I love.

Performing live is my bread and butter and to be given the opportunity to get my feet back on the boards in one of the first live productions to go ahead feels very lucky indeed. There’s a huge sense of comradery in the industry right now; it’s very humbling and more than ever there’s a very gung-ho spirit about the place… albeit at 2 meters distance of course!

What would you like the production to achieve?
Ultimately, I hope it gives people the confidence to return to theatres, which I think are fundamental to our society more than ever right now.  Amongst having many pivotal roles within the community, theatres provide people with a safe space to emote, to engage, to be inspired, to learn, and most of all a place to escape from life and be entertained… I hope we achieve at least one of those things.

To book tickets visit https://orangetreetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/shaw-shorts/

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