Co-producers The Gaiety, Ayr, Perth Theatre and Cumbernauld Theatre Company are issuing an open casting call for their upcoming production of Tally’s Blood.

Trained/experienced professional adult actors, including recent acting graduates, are invited to submit their Spotlight link or bio to be considered for audition for roles in the show.

Casting Information

Producing Partners: The Gaiety, Ayr, Perth Theatre and Cumbernauld Theatre Company

Director: Ken Alexander

Written by: Ann Marie di Mambro

Key Dates:

Rehearsals commence at Perth Theatre: Mon 28 Aug 2023

Previews at Perth Theatre: Thu 21 + Fri 22 Sep

Opening/Press Night: Sat 23 Sep

Run concludes at Perth Theatre: Sat 30 Sep

Tour: Mon 2 Oct – Sat 4 Nov*

Dates will include:

Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock: Thu 5 Oct

Cumbernauld Theatre at Lanternhouse: Tue 10 – Sat 14 Oct

Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock: Mon 23 + Tue 24 Oct

Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling: Wed 25 – Fri 27 Oct

Theatre Royal, Dumfries: Mon 30 + Tue 31 Oct

The Gaiety, Ayr: Wed 1 – Fri 3 Nov

*Final tour schedule TBC

 The Play

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.

The Roles

The play takes place over a twenty-year period and the characters age accordingly during the course of the action.

Trained/experienced professional adult actors and recent acting graduates are invited to submit to be considered for the following roles:

Lucia Ianelli

Playing age 5 – 21. Lucia has come to live with her Aunt and Uncle in Scotland following the death of her Mother. She is strong, characterful, bright and sparky. She knows how to manipulate her family to get what she wants and can be a ‘spoilt wee madam’, but she has a good heart. She is bossy, funny and clever. Her best friend is ‘wee Hughie Devlin’, they are the closest of pals. She and Hughie find that they’re friendship is turning into something more mature as they grow into young adults.

Franco Pedreschi/Luigi Ianelli

Playing age 20s – 50s. Franco and Luigi are played by the same actor. Franco is the younger brother of Massimo and is full of Italian charm. He works in his Father’s shop under sufferance. He struggles to be the ‘good Italian boy’ his family would like him to be and finds the constraints of living and working with his Father unbearable – especially when he sees the freedoms that young Scots men appear to enjoy. He is courting Bridget Devlin, a Scots girl and, in an attempt to break free from his Father, signs up to the British Army when World War Two breaks out.

Luigi is an Italian farmer, living on his own land in rural Italy, near Cassino. When his wife dies at a young age he feels he has no option but to give up his only daughter to be looked after by his Sister-in-Law and her husband. He later remarries and has further children, two boys. When Lucia comes of age Luigi summons her, as the only girl in the family, to return to work on the family farm. He is rough edged but smart and looks out for his own interests.

Hughie Devlin

Playing age 5 – 21. Hughie is from a large Scots/Irish family. He is a wee innocent working class lad, and adorable. He is brought into ‘work’ in the Pedreschi’s family shop when Lucia is finding it difficult to blend into her Scottish school. He and Lucia become firm friends, but Lucia is definitely the boss. When Hughie’s Father is killed in a mining accident Massimo takes Hughie under his wing and he becomes further integrated into the family. Trouble comes when he realises that his friendship with Lucia is growing into something more intimate.

Bridget Devlin

Bridget is Hughie’s older sister. She is strong yet vulnerable. She is very keen on Franco, who she is ‘seeing’. As a Scots girl she meets huge resistance in Rosinella’s fierce protection of her Italian family, and finds herself dealing with more than she bargains for when Franco goes off to fight in the Second World War. After their Father dies, she finds herself having to protect and support herself and her wee brother Hughie in their involvement with the Pedreschi family.

Actors who have Scots-Italian heritage are particularly encouraged to get in touch.

All contracting will be managed by Perth Theatre.

Submissions should be sent to: with the subject heading Tally’s Blood Casting Submission 2023.

Deadline for submissions: Fri 12 May at 17:00.

Auditions will take place in Glasgow w/c Mon 29 May.


Monday 1 May 2023