A MODERN Scottish classic that centres on a key part of the country’s history is being revived for a new tour.

A full-scale production of Tally’s Blood, which deals with the immigrant experience and the strong bond between Scotland and Italy, is to be staged for the first time in 20 years.

The play 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.

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First performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in 1990, Tally’s Blood is a set text for National 5 English.

Playwright Ann Marie Di Mambro said that of all the pieces she had written, Tally’s Blood was closest to her heart.

“It delves into my own Scottish-Italian heritage and the stories I was told growing up,” she said. “I’m very excited at the prospect of a tour marking the 20th anniversary of the last production and I’m delighted that Ken Alexander is returning to direct it once again.”

The new production is being brought to the stage by Ayr’s Gaiety Theatre, Perth Theatre and Cumbernauld Theatre Company and will open in Perth in September before touring Scotland.

Director Ken Alexander has been keen to revisit the play for some time.

He said: “It has become something of a Scottish classic, known by people across the country but infrequently produced.

“It is a piece that, although set between the 1930s and 1950s, has a lot of contemporary resonances – particularly those around multiculturalism and the immigrant experience, and contemporary issues that make us question what brings us together and what pushes us apart in society.

“However, the thing that appeals to me most is the huge heart that is contained in Ann Marie Di Mambro’s play – drawn very closely from her own family experience as Italian immigrants that settled in Scotland.

“Her storytelling is full of warmth, nostalgia and affection without ever being overly sentimental. Audiences can expect a rattling good story, laughter, tears and a good night out.”

Fraser Morrison, Cumbernauld Theatre’s creative producer, said the collaboration with the Perth and Ayr theatres will provide a “unique opportunity” for school groups to engage with their creative learning programme as well as give the general public the chance to enjoy a modern Scottish classic.

“This powerful and poignant play immediately captured our attention as it explores key themes that are not only relevant to our modern society today, but also resonate deeply with us as a Scottish community,” he said.

“We are confident that this story will strike a chord with our local audience who appreciate stories rooted in truth and authenticity, and who value the power of connection.

“We look forward to embarking on this exciting journey with our partners and sharing Tally’s Blood with audiences across Scotland.”