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Befriending Bertha explores imagination and friendship

Befriending Bertha is a play about imagination, hope, magic and most importantly taking a chance and making new friends.

Shy and quiet Bertha’s world is shaken up when she first meets Charlie in the playground.

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After years of eating lunch in the playground on her own, Bertha, played by 11-year-old Gabriella Tsagkatakis, makes a new friend in Charlie, played by 12-year-old Mei Liu.

This is the latest production by the Gibraltar Academy of Music and Performing Arts which was held at The Magazine last Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Bertha is quiet, but Charlie is quite the opposite.

She is often spotted reading the dictionary, or “accumulating words” as she is fond of saying.

The girls soon meet Pink, a reckless young girl who claims to have driven over her in father’s Cadillac and is running away from the gypsies.

The role of Pink was shared between Krsna Gulraj and Isabella Azzopardi, both aged 9, with the two girls having the opportunity to play the major role and a minor role of Tiny over the two nights.

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Pink tells her new-found friends she is trying to rescue her dad from jail, and asks for their help to stop her being caught.

With the help from Bertha, the girls summon the Polynesian spirit guides and Pink heads off on her mission.

Bertha says: “I feel like how I felt when my grandmother was alive.”

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Charlie said it felt like Pink was magic.

With advice from Bertha, the girls go quiet and “wait for magic to happen” and Pink returns.

A surprise appearance from Pink’s mum makes the girls realise that Pink was telling tales all along.

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The audience of 50 erupted with laughter as Charlie takes on Pink’s mum to send her on her way.

As the girls’ friendship blossoms, the audience learns that it is fate that has brought them together.

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By sticking together, they manage to lift each other up, “up to the stars”.

Acting students Christina Martinez, Bella Navas and Mireille Hook also performed monologues.

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Pics by Alex Menez

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