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'Looking for Alibrandi' Is the Latest Aussie Classic That's Making the Leap to the Stage

Melina Marchetta's beloved 1992 book has already been adapted into a movie, and now a stage version is heading to Belvoir and Malthouse.
By Sarah Ward
February 23, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
February 23, 2022
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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 both Malthouse and Belvoir doing the honours.

Premiering in Melbourne at Malthouse's Meryln Theatre from July 8–24, before playing Belvoir's Upstairs Theatre in Sydney from October 1–November 6, 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.

Looking for Alibrandi fans in other cities, cross your fingers that the nostalgic stage production will make its way to your stages, too.

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:

Looking for Alibrandi will premiere in Melbourne at Malthouse's Meryln Theatre from July 8–24, before playing Belvoir's Upstairs Theatre in Sydney from October 1–November 6. Head to the Malthouse and Belvoir websites for further information and to buy tickets.

Top image: Kristian Gehradte.

Published on February 23, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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