January 11 2004
An angel gets to be a ref
had peer influence to encourage him to step foot on the stage. His uncle,
Alan, has been a, mostly comic, hit for many years.
Nephew John has started his acting career in earnest and ventured into
TV, making a handsome duo with Mike Basmadjan in the ever popular ‘Angli’
series. Montanaro started his acting with a role in a musical version
of Macbeth, and continued with HMS Pinafore. He took some of his roles
in the past knowing that he had not much to do, but now has become so
much in demand that he hardly finds time for an interview.
In his next role Montanaro plays the referee in a play about two working
class English men who, like so many of their contemporaries, escape
their relatively unremarkable lives by getting behind their team.
Although he enjoys his Angli role, Montanaro is always on the lookout
for different opportunities, and you can catch him in MADC’s God’s
Official, playing at St John’s Cavalier, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24,
what inspired you to act, any family inspiration?
The opportunity came up to do a sixth form school production and I took
it and got hooked to theatre from my first curtain up. When I was younger
I never missed a Panto, and watching my uncle, Alan, strut his dames
on stage did inspire me.
Do you get the chance to see theatre abroad? If so what do you look
I have watched a number of West End shows, and I must admit that I do
have a soft spot for the big musicals. My favourite one to date is ‘The
Are there actors (Maltese or world-wide) you admire?
There are a lot of Maltese actors I admire, we have a lot of talent
on the islands. I must admit I do enjoy watching Jes Camilleri on stage.
I've seen him in a number of different roles both comic and dramatic
and he always excels. As for foreign actor it has to be Robert De Niro,
What would you like to see done to achieve a higher quality theatre
and attract more people to the shows in Malta?
I think theatre has come a long way, with St. James Cavalier opening
up giving us chance to experiment with theatre in the round. However,
unfortunately I think we lack a proper national theatre. The Manoel
is a great theatre and any actor who has worked there can confirm this,
but we need a theatre that can be versatile with 1 or 2 revolves.
the roles you have played so far which is your most memorable and why?
I have played a lot of characters, but the one that springs to mind
is Gary in ‘A slice of Saturday Night.’ It was just a great
fun part to play, he was a leader and a comic, sad and of course a playboy
all rolled into one.
Your next play is Robert Farquhar classic ‘God’s Official,’
can you tell me something about your role?
In Gods Official I am playing the referee, Greaves. As you can imagine
he is not a popular guy, I can't tell you much as I want you all to
come and find out for yourselves, but my character changes throughout
the course of the play.
You are both a stage and TV actor which do you prefer and why?
First of all the 2 cannot be compared. They are two completely different
forms of acting. But if I had to choose between TV and theatre it would
have to be theatre. It’s more real, you become the character you
are playing completely you become immersed in a fictional world, feeding
solely on the reactions of the audience. TV is colder but still has
Is it correct
to say that theatre in Malta is going through a new lease of life?
I think the future for Maltese theatre is very bright, we've got a lot
of talent on this small island, and with all these theatre schools popping
up I think it’s here to stay.