Heritage Malta will once again be treating its patrons to an original and unique Carnival event this year: Il-Qarċilla at the Inquisitor’s Palace and the National Museum of Natural History in collaboration with l-Akkademja tal-Malti.
Il-qarċilla is a poetic farce in Maltese which up to a hundred years ago formed part of the Carnival celebrations held in Valletta and was also very popular in a number of villages. A man, acting as a notary, would in the presence of two youngsters, acting as husband and wife-to-be, read out a marital contract in verse filled with satirical innuendos and humour. The crowd would gather in the streets of Valletta to listen to the poem which, in some instances, could require an adult audience.
The first qarċilla on record was written for the 1760 carnival festivities by Cospicua poet Dun Feliċ Demarco. Amongst the works of Demarco, one also finds Iż-Żwieġ la Maltija (Marriage the Maltese way) which is the only one of his works which survived till this day.
The first Qarċilla will take place at The Inquisitor’s Palace in Vittoriosa on Monday 16th February at 8pm. The programme includes a short talk by Olvin Vella about the linguistic value of the ancient qrieċel, a performance, a small exhibition of authentic specimens of qrieċel and a reception. The second run will be held at the National Museum of Natural History in Mdina on Tuesday 17th February at 8pm. Once again the programme will include a short talk, this time by Dr. Bernard Micallef about the literary value of the first qarċilla, a performance, a small exhibition of authentic specimens of qrieċel and a reception. The brand new Qarċilla is written by Trevor Zahra.
Tickets at €15 can be purchased from all Heritage Malta sites & museums and ONLINE.
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