Diary of an Expat is a relevant and thought-provoking one-woman show, directed by Katharina Reinthaller (Labels, Fringe First Winner 2015), telling the comic story of the encounter between modern migrant Cecilia and London – a contemporary El Dorado craved by generations of young Europeans.
When she arrived in the UK from Italy nine years ago, with a suitcase full of hopes, dreams and bags of pasta, Cecilia’s mission began – trying to become British whilst remaining deeply Italian. She started her exciting life abroad with thrilling adventures, a successful career and a vibrant urban lifestyle…kind of. Now, after numerous dubious jobs and weird encounters, Cecilia finds herself alone among the chaos of multi-ethnic, glamorous London whilst navigating the ever present uncertainty of Brexit. Now turning her desires into reality has become a titanic endeavour as the European dream of life abroad slowly drifts away.
Based on real testimonies as well as personal experiences of writer Cecilia Gragnani, Diary of an Expat looks at lives of Europeans abroad and their urgency to understand and explore what expatriating means for a younger generation. Confronting the legal technicalities of becoming a citizen of another country, Cecilia questions what role this will play on her identity and how we decide where we belong.
Katharina Reinthaller comments, “Becoming British whilst remaining deeply Italian seems like an impossible mission, especially in the multicultural turmoil that is London. In Diary of an Expat the city itself helps Cecilia Gragnani (G-R-A-G-N-A-N-I) to go her own way and live the European dream. Kind of. The team behind the show is an Austrian-Italian-Lithuanian-Scottish mix and we want to explore what it means to be ‘European’ – which turns out is not easy to define. After ten years a place becomes somewhat a home but identities still feel blurry. Even if we love queuing. And tea. And sausage rolls.
Diary of an Expat is at Underbelly Cowgate (Belly Laugh).