Jerome Vincent - Ciao Bella!
Written by by Jerome Vincent.
Eleanor Bron plays Nonna Grazia, and Cherie Lunghi, plays her daughter, Theresa, in Jerome Vincent's play set in and around an Italian delicatessen in Brighton.
The action turns around the fate of the deli following the death of Theresa's husband, Carlo - who had worked hard to build up his business and stop it falling into the hands of Salvatore Iaquinta, the owner of a chain of cheap Italian coffee shops. Sal is smooth, ruthless and good-looking; and he's after Theresa, as well as her shop.
But in steps Theresa's daughter, Toni - recently made redundant from a high-powered job in the City - who decides to put her business acumen to good use and drag the deli into the 21st century, while making sure it still retains the old world charm and wonderful food, the customers love.
Toni's grandmother, Nonna Grazia, is a fiery old woman who was once a child-partisan in the hills around Benevento, and fought the Germans during the war, even though she was only 13. As well as handing out advice to all and sundry (whether they want it or not!) she's also a fantastic cook. In one scene of the play she cooks a garlic and pasta dish guaranteed to have listeners licking their lips!
Throughout the production we use specially recorded Italian popular music, performed by cousin Immacolata (played by Rita Ullo). Based on the real-life experiences of the writer's extended, deli-owning family, the play is rich in detail and humour - and the very distinct aural flavour of the Italian community in Britain.
Nonna ..... Eleanor Bron
Theresa ..... Cherie Lunghi
Salvatore / Kiriakov ..... Richard Attlee
Toni ..... Alison Pettit
Nino / Fiorello ..... Gunnar Cauthery
Emilio ..... Adrian Grove
Aldo / Carlo ...... John Evitts
Immacolata .....Rita Ullo
Guitarist: Paolo Vanoncini
Producer/Director: David Blount
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.