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La ballata delle balàte (The ballad of the ‘balàte’)



La ballata delle balàte (The ballad of the ‘balàte’)

Written, directed and interpreted by Vincenzo Pirrotta

Original music by Giovanni Parrinello performed live by Dario Sulis

After the success of Terramatta, based on the autobiography of Sicilian migrant Vincenzo Rabito and presented in Australia by the Teatro Stabile di Catania at the end of 2015, and in which he played the main role, Vincenzo Pirrotta returns to Australia with another captivating theatre performance.

This time Vincenzo Pirrotta is presenting a monologue written, interpreted and directed by himself, featuring a mafioso fugitive who from his hideout proclaims his faith in God, while at the same time putting into practice the cruel and distorted logic of the mafia. On Easter Friday he traces back his solitary and brutal life, while praying the rosary where the sorrowful mysteries belong to the passion of Christ, whereas the joyous mysteries represent a barbaric list of mafia’s victims. The play proposes a deep reflection on mafia and its religious devotion. The staging is characterized by a duality between sacred and profane, culminating in the adoration of the monstrance containing the pizzini, i.e. mafia’s orders. Contrasting elements cohabit in the mind of the fugitive, such as the blood of Christ and of mafia’s victims. The staging is unadorned, emhpasized by a game of light and shadow highlighting how the hideout becomes for the mafioso a kind of place of worship, made out of church candles, a table and two chairs, where he prays his rosary wearing a crown of thorns and a noose around his neck. The text is entirely in Sicilian dialect: a purposeful linguistic choice which, with its natural expressive ability, reinforces the characterization of the protagonist.

Acclaimed playwright, theatre director and actor, Vincenzo Pirrotta studied at I.N.D.A. (Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico) in Siracusa and was subsequently a pupil of Mimmo Cuticchio, who taught him the art of the Sicilian cuntu (storytelling). Winner of several theatre criticism awards, founder of the Esperidio theatre company, buoyant interpreter of countless theatre works presented both in Italy and abroad, Vincenzo Pirrotta represents nowadays one of the most influential and innovative voices of Italian theatre.

Please note the performance will be held in Italian with surtitles in English

For a complete biography of Vincenzo Pirrotta click HERE.

Free entry for IIC members. Non-members: $ 15

Limited seats. Booking essential:


Date: Da Friday, April 07, 2017 a Saturday, April 08, 2017

Time: From 7:30 pm To 9:00 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

In collaboration with : Italian Forum, Co.As.It.

Entrance : With fee


Italian Forum Auditorium, 21-23 Norton Street, Lei