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Adapting Alibrandi


Thirty years after Looking for Alibrandi’s release, the beloved novel is being adapted for the stage. Celebrate Alibrandi’s enduring story in a special discussion about the journey from page to screen to stage.


Looking for Alibrandi broke new ground with its honest and empowered portrait of an Italian-Australian teen coming of age in 1990s inner Sydney, speaking authentically about systemic racism in Australia from a migrant perspective. For generations of teens, the beloved novel (and later cult movie) is a foundational story. Its exploration of family, womanhood, first love, identity and othering still resonates with readers today, 30 years after its release.

Now, Melina Marchetta’s novel has been adapted for the stage. In this special collaboration between the Wheeler Centre and Malthouse Theatre, Marchetta joins playwright Vidya Rajan, director Stephen Nicolazzo, and the film’s star Pia Miranda to discuss Looking for Alibrandi’s journey from page to screen to stage, the art of adaptation, and the enduring impact of this Australian classic. Hosted by Brodie Lancaster.

Presented in partnership with Malthouse Theatre


The bookseller for this event is Hill of Content Bookshop

Illustration by Megan Herbert


Tickets are $15 (general)/$12 (concession), plus a $4 booking fee, via Malthouse Theatre.

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Melina Marchetta

Melina Marchetta is an internationally bestselling and award-winning author in more than twenty countries and eighteen languages. Her seventeen books range from beloved young adult fiction and fantasy through to contemporary and crime fiction, and works for younger readers. Her much-loved Australian... Read more

Pia Miranda

Pia Miranda is one of Australia’s best loved and critically acclaimed actors. Since bursting onto the big screen in the much-loved film Looking for AlibrandiI, Pia has become part of Australian film and television history. Her body of film work includes lead roles in Garage Days directed by Alex P... Read more

Stephen Nicolazzo

Stephen is a theatre maker, director and co-founder of queer theatre company, Little Ones Theatre. He is also co-artistic director of Western Edge. Upcoming: Looking for Alibrandi (Malthouse Theatre, Belvoir). Recent Credits include: Loaded (Malthouse Theatre), Considerable Sexual License (Joel Bray... Read more

Vidya Rajan

Vidya Rajan is an award-winning writer for screen and stage, performance-maker and comedian. She has a Masters in Writing (VCA) and has been a recipient of the Wheeler Centre’s Hot Desk Fellowship, Melbourne Festival’s Director’s Lab Program and Screen Australia’s Developing ... Read more

Brodie Lancaster

Brodie Lancaster is an author and essayist from Melbourne. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Vogue Australia, the Guardian and New York magazine. Her first book, the pop culture memoir No Way! Okay, Fine, was published by Hachette in 2017. She co-hosts See Also, a w... Read more


Merlyn Theatre, The Malthouse

113 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.