This week marked the last episode of the first season of the TV series L-Gharusa. L-Gharusa has been another successful series by Sharp Shoot Media following last TV Series Strada Stretta. Every Tuesday became synonymous with L-Gharusa, even more so after working on a number of scenes doing make up for cast members. The story centres a noble family back in the 1930s, showcasing the lifestyle of such families. Like any other family, life is not always a bed of roses. The series showed in detail how complicated such a noble life can be. During the first episode we saw the killing of Bettina, and throughout the whole series we were taken back and forth to life before and after the killing.
The story is set when Maltese nobility still had a strong presence among society and it was customary for the elite families to arrange marriages for their children, hence, the engagement of Bettina to Bert.
I had the opportunity to work closely with such great actors, working under time pressure to finish their makeup on time for shooting, making sure the looks match previous takes, creating consistency throughout. Makeup looks varied from circus clowns to serious looks for the Gauci Fontana family and others. Throughout the whole series, I also had the opportunity to visit some unique places, such as Palazzo Falson and Verdala Palace.
Palazzo Falson is a typical two-storey medieval palace fashioned on Sicilian examples of its period, and is one of the imposing Palazzi built by the Sicilian, Spanish and local nobility in Mdina. The Palazzo consists of a series of rooms wrapped around an internal courtyard, and an overlying piano-nobile which contained the original living quarters. It was originally a one-storey high courtyard house, with a set of rooms at the back of the courtyard forming the oldest part of the building, dating back to the 13th century. The ground floor, which was used as a store or stables, underwent other modifications in the early modern period. Palazzo Falson also contains a number of features from different subsequent historical periods and styles.
The Verdala Palace in the limits of Buskett, is showcased as the main residence of the noble Gauci Fontana family. The Verdala Palace is the official summer residence of the President of Malta. It was built by Grandmaster de Verdalle in 1586 on a site surrounding the woodland of Buskett, which was used by the Knights for game hunting. The Verdala Palace is surrounded by a stone ditch, and was embellished by several grandmasters over the years.The building is spread over two floors and at each corner, there are towers five storeys high. During the French rule, the palace was used as a military prison and was largely abandoned after that. Verdala Palace was later restored by Sir William Reid in 1858 and it became the official summer residence of the British Governors.
The Verdala Palace has been the official summer residence of the President of Malta since 1987 and is generally closed to the public except for the annual Ball of the August moon held in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund, but I had the opportunity to visit it very frequently, seeing how it looks during the day whilst also at night.
Whilst I thank the whole team for such an experience, I look forward to working with you again in the coming series.