Tally's Blood is set in Scotland and Italy between the years of 1936 and 1955.

Seven scenes are set in Italy and 23 scenes are set in Scotland.

Most of the play is specifically set in Glasgow - Massimo makes a direct reference to this in Act 1 Scene 2. Glaswegian dialect is also used and we can identify this through expressions such as wean.

Di Mambro uses minimal stage directions which allows the director creative freedom. It is for this reason there are few descriptions of setting.


The timescale of the play allows Di Mambro to cover a number of issues:

  • Early scenes take place in the 1930s – this was the period of the depression and explains the poverty faced both in Glasgow and Italy
  • The years of World War Two were a time when Scotland and Italy were enemies. This provides a stark backdrop to exploring the theme of nationalism
  • The final scenes in the 1950s include reference to rock and roll music. This links to a sense of rebellion in the characters against traditional roles and expectations