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Looking for Alibrandi — Malthouse Theatre and Belvoir

Melina Marchetta's beloved 1992 book has already been adapted into a movie — and now a stage version is heading to Malthouse.
By Sarah Ward
June 02, 2022
By Sarah Ward
June 02, 2022

Name an adored Australian movie or book — or a film that was adapted to a novel — and, in plenty of cases, there's a theatre version as well. The same works vice versa, too. As a result, we've all had multiple ways to enjoy Muriel's Wedding, Moulin Rouge!, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Wake in Fright, Bran Nue Dae, Jasper Jones and more.

And, before 2022 is out, the same will prove true of Looking for Alibrandi. Melina Marchetta's beloved book was initially published in 1992, and has been devoured by teenagers for three decades since. In 2000, it hit the big screen, with Pia Miranda as Josephine Alibrandi — and the movie has been given a workout for two-plus decades now. But this year marks the first time that Looking for Alibrandi will make the leap to the stage, with Malthouse doing the honours.

Premiering in Melbourne at Malthouse's Merlyn Theatre from Friday, July 8–Sunday, July 31, Looking for Alibrandi will still chart the same multi-generational story it has always told no matter the format, with 17-year-old Sydney student Josie at its centre. She's in her last year of school, dreaming of a bright future and trying to navigate the clash of cultures that comes with being Italian Australian. She also gets to know her dad, and falls in love for the first time.

Director Stephen Nicolazzo (Loaded, Merciless Gods) is guiding this stage version of the best-selling book to theatres, as adapted by Vidya Rajan — and starring Chanella Macri (Australian Realness), Lucia Mastrantone and Jennifer Vuletic (Because The Night) as the Alibrandi women.

And if you need something to tide you over until the play hits Malthouse and Belvoir, check out the Looking for Alibrandi film trailer below:

Top image: Kristian Gehradte.

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