Throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries, the demand for operas, pageants, theatrical and dramatic productions boomed as the Maltese embraced what had previously been entertainment reserved solely for the nobility. Shows put on by amateurs and theatre professionals were then housed at the Knight's Auberges around the city of Valletta.
Thus, theatre has always been a lively and well-represented part of the local cultural scene. A variety of local and international drama, dance and music troupes perform on the Islands, creating a very vibrant theatrical calendar of events.
There are various venues to choose from; the 18th century Manoel Theatre, St. James Cavalier Cavalier Centre for Creativity, the Mediterranean Conference Centre, the Old University building in Valletta and the University of Malta at Tal-Qroqq.
Gozo also has two theatres in Victoria, each one extremely popular with their opera calendar.
0pen-air venues are also very popular and make for spectacular stage sets. Hardly surprising, considering the great weather Malta enjoys for most of the year.