Department of European Languages and Cultures

The Italian Play 2019: Tally’s Blood - 30 Years On

In the centenary year of Italian Studies at the University of Edinburgh, this year’s Italian Play is freely adapted and directed by Carlo Pirozzi (Teaching Fellow in Italian) from Ann Marie Di Mambro’s celebrated 1990 play, ‘Tally’s Blood’.

Poster for Italian Play

It is part of our very first DELC Festival of European Theatre: four fantastic language shows over eight nights at Assembly Roxy.

The story begins just before the outbreak of World War Two. In the back shop of the Pedreschi, we hear a lively conversation about love, food, and the war. The multilingual dialogue includes English, Gaelic, Italian, Neapolitan and dialect from an Italian region informally known as Ciociaria, between Naples and Rome. Music, song and tarantella are interwoven into the dialogues.

News of the tragic sinking of the Arandora Star on the 2nd July 1940 brings total silence: 446 Italian war prisoners and civilian internees met their death aboard. A dance performance seeks to convey the searing pain of the women left behind, while opening an uplifting space for a reflection on the Italo-Scottish community today.

‘Tally’s Blood - 30 Years On’ will be performed in the Upstairs Theatre at Assembly Roxy on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th March 2019, starting at 7pm each night.

Tickets are available online and in person at the venue (£6, concessions £4).

Book your ticket on the Assembly website [external site]

After the performance on 16th March, we'll be hosting a round-table discussion with Ann Marie Di Mambro (Scottish playwright and television screenwriter), Federica Pedriali (University of Edinburgh), Anne Pia (Italian-Scots writer and poet), and Maggie Rose (playwright and academic, Milan University).

The event is part of a series celebrating the Centenary of Italian Studies at the University of Edinburgh (1919-2019), in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute, Italian Scotland, Italian Society, Italian Folk Connections, Drama and Performance at Queen Margaret University, Syn Festival, and Imprevisto Danza.

Are you interested in Italian at Edinburgh?

This year, we celebrate 100 years of Italian Studies at the University of Edinburgh with a range of collaborative events, of which the Italian Play is one. We are delighted that, a century on from Ernesto Grillo's first lecture in Italian at Edinburgh, you can study Italian as an undergraduate degree (single or joint honours), as part of an interdisciplinary masters degree - such as Translation Studies or Comparative Literature - or as an MSc by Research or PhD.

Find out more about studying Italian with us

Related links

Read our interview with cast and crew of last year's student plays


The Italian Play 2019: Tally’s Blood - 30 Years On

A wonderful combination of drama, music, and dance adapted from Ann Marie Di Mambro’s picture of life in wartime Scotland as experienced by the Italian immigrant community.

Assembly Roxy - Upstairs
2 Roxburgh Place