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A LITTLE touch of Sicily will come to The Street Theatre tonight (April 5) in the performance of “La Ballata Delle Balate” by Italian actor, Vincenzo Pirrotta.Last seen in Australia at the end of 2015 when he starred in the Teatro Stabile di Catania’s “Terramatta” as a Sicilian migrant, Vincenzo Rabito, Pirrotta, is an esteemed Sicilian playwright, theatre director, actor and founder of the Esperidio theatre company.
Graduating from the Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico in Syracuse, he also studied under Mimmo Cuticchio, who taught him the art of Sicilian storytelling, a tradition that goes right back to ancient Greece.
Pirrotta returns to Australia in a monologue written, interpreted and directed by himself. “La Ballata Delle Balate” depicts a Mafioso fugitive who, from his hideout, proclaims his faith in God, while at the same time putting into practice the “distorted logic” of the Mafia.
On Easter Friday he traces back his solitary and brutal life, while praying the rosary, supposedly to acknowledge the passion of Christ, but in effect showing the duality between sacred and profane in the religious devotion of Mafiosi.
Supported by the Italian Cultural Institute, the performance is entirely in Sicilian dialect with English subtitles, a deliberate choice intended to reinforce the characterisation of the protagonist.
This play, very appropriately timed for just before Easter, is a must-see for connoisseurs of fine acting.
“La Ballata Delle Balate”. At The Street Theatre, 7.30pm, tonight only. Wednesday, April 5. Bookings to the street.org.au or 6247 1223. The work will be performed in Sicilian, with English surtitles.