Past shows:

in association with The Scottish Storytelling Centre,
The Italian Cultural Institute and Valvona & Crolla


A fully staged storytelling musical
told by
Mike Maran
with music by live on stage by David Vernon

Every town and village in Italy boasts a Piazza Garibaldi ...

... a bakery with an eye on the market named their biscuits after him ...

... and now a Scottish writer, Mike Maran, tells his story.

He stole two ships and sailed from Genoa to Sicily with a ragtaggle, ill-equipped army of 1,000 men - poets, idealists and adventurers. Their mission - to defeat the mighty Bourbon army in the south and unite the whole peninsula of Italy under the monarchy of Vittorio Emmanuele, the King of Piedmont.

A true David and Goliath story about this most charismatic freedom fighter and guerrilla warrior, who captured a kingdom and then retired to his farm on the tiny island of Caprera refusing all honour and gifts and taking with him only a sack of seed corn ... and there today, on Caprera, an Italian soldier stands as a guard of honour before his grave.

A Scottish cattle-ship, ‘The City of Aberdeen’ took reinforcements from Genoa to meet up with Garibaldi’s ‘Thousand’ at Palermo. The Scottish crew were so enthusiastic for Garibaldi and his cause that they fought against the Royalists in Sicily at the battle of Milazzo and crossed the Straits of Messina with the redshirts to invade the mainland of Italy and march on Naples and get rid of the Bourbon tyranny for ever.

84 years later, in 1944, the 51st Highland Division marching beside American and English soldiers, did exactly the same. They liberated Sicily then crossed the straits of Messina and invaded the mainland of Italy to march northwards to defeat the Fascist tyranny.

The parts remain the same. It’s only the actors that change.

‘Garibaldi is the only wholly admirable figure in modern history’

AJP Taylor

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