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Manoel Theatre | One of Europe's oldest working theatres, constructed fully from wood since 1732

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

General Info 📚

History 📑

Construction was finished in only ten months. This, however, maybe because alterations were made to the fabric of the three adjoining houses, incorporating them into a theatre.

The building occupied an area of 94½ square canes, which was later altered to 93 square canes and 2½ palms. The theatre is said to have been modelled after the contemporary Palermo Theatre.

Its auditorium was originally semi-circular or horseshoe-shaped, with an illuminated parterre that served as a small dance floor. The first theatrical performance to be staged at the Teatro Pubblico was Scipione Maffei's classic tragedy Merope, on January 9, 1732.

The actors in that production were the Knights themselves, and the set was designed by the Knights' chief military architect, Francois Mondion.

Quick Facts

  1. The theatre retains many of its original features dating back to 1731 when it was constructed.

  2. The perfect acoustics make for an unforgettable experience during performances.

  3. Considered by many as Malta’s national theatre and home of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

  4. Boasts a small museum with historical theatrical artefacts and insights from the Manoel Theatre’s rich past

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