By Vidya Rajan | Based on the novel by Melina Marchetta

Josie Alibrandi is in her final year of high school. Whip-smart and aspirational, she is a third-generation Italian teenager and scholarship kid, with the shadow of a family curse and a penchant for rule-breaking. 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.

Iconic novel and cult movie, 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.

Director Stephen Nicolazzo (Loaded, Merciless Gods) brought Melina Marchetta’s best-selling novel to the stage for the first time, where Vidya Rajan’s AWGIE nominated adaptation joined three generations of women in a passionate, heart wrenching, and unmissable rendering of the Australian classic.

Originally commissioned by Malthouse Theatre and co-presented by Malthouse Theatre and Belvoir, Looking for Alibrandi sold out both of its seasons and saw record breaking student attendance, with over 2,200 students and 5 dedicated education matinee performances at Belvoir during the season. By the time it closed, this incredibly popular cult-classic, was one of Belvoir’s top selling shows of the past decade.

Now, as part of Brink’s next chapter, this spirited and heart-warming production returns for a national tour starring original cast members Chanella Macri, Lucia Mastrantone, Jennifer Vuletic, and some new local faces.

Stephen Nicolazzo
Writer Vidya Rajan
Set and Costume Design Kate Davis
Lighting Design Katie Sfetkidis
Sound Design Daniel Nixon
Musicians Rosa Voto and Renato Vacerca
Tarantella Choreography Rosa Voto
Dialect Coach Paulo Bongiovanni
Cultural and Language Consultant Lucia Mastrantone

Chanella Macri, Lucia Mastrantone and Jennifer Vuletic.

★★★★★ “Clever, funny, heartening and well-crafted” Theatre Matters

★★★★1/2 “Comical and beautifully honest…a joyous and poignant experience…a ridiculously enjoyable sunbeam of a production” Arts Hub

★★★★ “Suddenly I was that awkward teenager again, and that is what makes great story telling. The ability to transport you to another place and time. To engulf you in a world that is not your own and yet feels so familiar. That is the magic of Looking for Alibrandi. A magic that continues to warm people’s hearts thirty years after Marchetta’s pen first touched the page” The AU Review

★★★★ “A heart-warming tale whose humour, honesty, radiant social relevance and narrative longevity can survive not only novel and film incarnations, but now, I’m delighted to report, a stage play too.” Theatre Now 

“Dark and uncompromising. It will resonate with subsequent waves of migrants”  The Australian

“Buoyant and entertaining, spirited and good-humored.” The Age

“Chanella Macri is an excellent Josie, with her quality eye-rolling and ability to deliver cheeky wisecracks injecting a vibrancy to the heart of the show that made this reviewer cackle more than once. Macri is a Josie for all of us in 2022, a world that has undeniably changed since the ‘90s, when high schools (nay, the world) were divided along hard lines of “skips versus wogs”. She brings her own intersections of identity to the role. Being both a woman in a bigger body and a woman of colour with a complex cultural mix, Macri is a perfect representation of what ‘otherness’ means for us today. She brings the essence of Josie’s experience in the ‘90s straight into the heart of a Sydney in 2022, where being skinny and Italian no longer means the same thing it did when Marchetta was writing back in the late 1990s.” Time Out

We acknowledge that the land on which we live, and work is the  traditional land of the Kaurna people and pay our respects to their  Elders - past, present and future. Brink supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and enshrining a Voice to Parliament in the Constitution. 

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