The Gaiety, Ayr, Perth Theatre and Cumbernauld Theatre Company have announced the cast for their co-production of Ann Marie Di Mambro’s Tally’s Blood.
The ensemble cast includes Scots-Italian actors Carmen Pieraccini (River City, Scot Squad) as Rosinella Pedreschi and Chiara Sparkes (Glasgow Girls, Mamma Mia) as Lucia Ianelli. Andy Clark (Lost At Sea, Guilt) plays Massimo Pedreschi, Craig McLean (Rebus, A Play A Pie and A Pint) is Hughie Devlin, Dani Heron (The James Plays, The 306: Day) is Bridget Devlin and Paul Corrigan (River City, Black Watch) is Franco Pedreschi.
Tally’s Blood will be directed by Ken Alexander, with design by Fraser Lappin, lighting design by Wayne Dowdeswell and sound design by Hilary Brooks.
Announcing the cast as rehearsals started in Perth Theatre, Ken Alexander said:
"I’m so delighted with the team of actors we have been able to bring together for Tally’s Blood. I’m particularly happy that we have been able to cast two Scotland based actors of Scots-Italian heritage, who will bring their own authentic experience to Ann Marie Di Mambro's play.
Carmen Pieraccini will play matriarch Rosinella Pedreschi and Chiara Sparkes plays her niece Lucia Ianelli. I’m thrilled to be working with Carmen for the first time, she will be a familiar face to television viewers from her work on the BBC Scotland drama series River City in which she played long-running character Kelly-Marie Adams and her role as Tina in Dear Green Place. In addition to her film and TV work, Carmen also has a wealth of stage experience including appearing as Magrit in the Scottish tour of The Steamie. She has also carved out a special niche as a Clowndoctor, providing play therapy for sick children.
Chiara Sparkes joined Dundee Rep Ensemble straight out of training at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and went on to appear in the tours of Glasgow Girls and the ABBA musical Mamma Mia. I worked with Chiara for the first time when she played the title role in Sleeping Beauty at the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr last year. All six actors in the production are really talented and strong, I can’t wait to start rehearsals.”
Twenty years after it was last seen in full-scale production, The Gaiety Ayr, Perth Theatre and Cumbernauld Theatre Company are combining to present the brand-new tour of Ann Marie Di Mambro’s modern Scottish classic Tally’s Blood.
Directed by Ken Alexander, who also directed the last professional production, Tally’s Blood will open in Perth Theatre from Thursday 21 until Saturday 30 September 2023 before touring to Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy; Cumbernauld Theatre at Lanternhouse; Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock; Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling and Theatre Royal, Dumfries, concluding its run at The Gaiety from Thursday 2 until Saturday 4 November.
There is hardly a town or city in Scotland that doesn’t have its own Italian café, chippy or ice-cream parlour. And it’s in one of these much-loved establishments that the story of Tally’s Blood starts…
Lucia can wrap her aunt and uncle around her little finger, cry to order, and she doesn’t like going to school. She likes Hughie though, so much so that they seal their friendship with a secret ceremony in the storeroom of her family’s ‘Tally’ shop – aided by an illicit bottle of ‘ginger’.
Auntie Rosinella loves Lucia like all the children she never had, but will anyone – particularly a ‘Scotch’ boy – ever be good enough for the girl she loves ‘best in the whole wide world’’?
As their childhood camaraderie blossoms into romance, Lucia and Hughie face more challenges than their countries taking opposing sides in the Second World War.
Told with heart and humour, Tally’s Blood follows the lives of an Italian immigrant family in Scotland, from the 1930s through to the 1950s, in a sweeping tale of poverty, passion and prejudice that travels from the west of Scotland to the sun-baked Italian countryside.
First performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in 1990, Tally’s Blood is a Set Text for National 5 English.
For tickets and information for Tally’s Blood in Perth Theatre from Thursday 21 until Saturday 30 September, visit perththeatreandconcerthall.com, or call or visit the Perth Theatre Box Office (01738 621031 10:00 – 16:00 Monday to Saturday).
Monday 28 August 2023