Melina Marchetta’s best-selling novel and beloved Australian cult film, Looking for Alibrandi, comes to the stage for the first time, and will premiere at the Malthouse Theatre this July, before a season at Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre in October.
Vidya Rajan’s adaptation will join three generations of women in a passionate, heart wrenching, and unmissable rendering of the Australian classic.
Josie Alibrandi is in her final year of high school. Whipsmart and aspirational, she is a third-generation Italian teenager and scholarship kid, with the shadow of a family curse and a penchant for rulebreaking.
Juggling grades, boys, and the claustrophobia of an overbearing nonna and saintly mother, Josie’s life becomes tangled in the webs of class, identity, and family history as she finds her place in a changing world.
Directed by Stephen Nicolazzo (Loaded, Merciless Gods), Looking for Alibrandi stars Chanella Macri (Australian Realness), Lucia Mastrantone and Jennifer Vuletic (Because The Night) as the Alibrandi women and features John Marc Desengano, Ashley Lyons and Hannah Monson.
Looking for Alibrandi is the honest and empowered portrait of 1990s Mediterranean culture that spoke for the first time about systemic racism in Australia from a migrant perspective. It defined a generation and to this day resonates with those caught in the stranglehold of identity and othering in this country.
“The story has always compelled me because it spoke so directly to the conflict I experienced, socially and internally,” said Director Stephen Nicolazzo. “I was scared to embrace my identity for fear of not being able to access an Anglo-centric world.”
“Josie was the first character I had ever read or seen on screen that understood what it was like. She made me proud to be a wog and I will thank Melina for creating her every single day,” said Nicolazzo.
Director: Stephen Nicolazzo | Featuring: John Marc Desengano, Ashley Lyons, Chanella Macri, Lucia Mastrantone, Hannah Monson, Jennifer Vuletic | Set & Costume Designer: Kate Davis | Composer & Sound Designer: Daniel Nixon | Lighting Designer: Katie Sfetkidis | Stage Manager: Cecily Rabey | Writer: Vidya Rajan
Looking for Alibrandi
Merlyn Theatre – The Malthouse, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Season: 13 – 31 July 2022 (previews: 9 – 12 July)
Information and Bookings: www.malthousetheatre.com.au
Upstairs Theatre – Belvoir Theatre, 25 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills
Season: 1 October – 6 November 2022
Information and Bookings: www.belvoir.com.au
Image: Chanella Macri stars in Looking for Alibrandi – photo by Kristian Gehradte