THE ITALIANS are coming to Belvoir next month
Produced by Malocchio Productions, Bontom and 25a THE ITALIANS is a hilarious new comedy from Danny Ball, premiering at Belvoir’s Downstairs Theater on October 26, 2022. This wildly funny and quirky Italian-Australian comedy covers all things Italiano: nonna’s sugo, overbearing parents, immigration history and Anthony Albanese.
THE ITALIANS is the story of Joe, a millennial Italian-Australian who is caught up in the passions and politics of ethnic family traditions, the underbelly of Sydney’s Italian mafia, the shady deals of Sicilian property developers and the right way to cook the lasagna.
When Joe’s cousin Luca arrives on his doorstep and asks him to borrow forty thousand dollars, an impromptu road trip from Leichhardt to Liverpool begins, as Joe helps Luca pay off his debts. Along the way, they make all the usual stops: a small dose of vodka and ketamine at the Russian Social Club in Lidcombe, followed by a short detour to the Catholic Club in Liverpool, until they find themselves on a plot deserted from the M5 waiting to meet the man they now owe forty grand. Joe plans to do all of this, and still finds time to propose to his pure-blooded Italian boyfriend Sal, a superior Italian speaker and the love of Joe’s life. As they head into the heart of western Sydney, Joe, Luca and Sal come face to face with the places, stories and myths of their ethnic heritage.
Written by Danny Ball (Cleansed – Old Fitz, Totally, Completely Fine – Stan), THE ITALIANS is a project that has its roots in a 2020 post-lockdown workshop: “My aim was to continue the tradition of Italian-Australian storytelling in this country by examining our contemporary experiences. Our languages, traditions and histories are beginning to disappear due to the process of assimilation. I feel a great urgency to tell our stories to a contemporary audience that is redefining what it means to be Italian-Australian Ball’s first foray into playwriting was wildly successful, and he brought together some of Australia’s biggest Italian actors, including Tony Poli (The Shifting Heart) and Emma O’Sullivan (Grand Horizons).
Directed by Riley Spadaro (Unruly Tourists – NZ Opera, Australian Open – bub), THE ITALIANS is a play that confronts class and queer identity within the millennial Italian-Australian experience: “The Italians is a celebration wild and feverish Italian-Australians who beg the question: if Italians have assimilated into Anglo-Australian culture, who cares?!”
With a cast of eight actors playing over eighteen Italian characters – including The Madonna, Lady Gaga and Anthony Albanese – THE ITALIANS is sure to be one of the funniest shows of 2022.