Accidental Death of an Anarchist
In its first two years of production, Dario Fo's controversial farce, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, was seen by over half a million people. It has since been performed all over the world and is widely recognised as a classic of modern drama. A sharp and hilarious satire on political corruption, it concerns the case of an anarchist railway worker who, in 1969, 'fell' to his death from a police headquarters window.
This version of the play was premiered in London in 2003.
Commentary and notes by Joseph Farrell.
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The characters on whom he most modelled himself after 1968 were two great
comic figures - the medieval giullare and the harlequin from commedia dell'arte.
The word giullare can be translated as 'jester', provided it is not taken in the
sense of 'court jester' but in the sense of the all-round entertainer who performed
to the people in the public places of the cities. The figure makes his first
appearance in one of Fo's earliest plays, Archangels Don't Play Pinball, when
Lanky tells Blondie ...
The most celebrated of such characters was Arlecchino, Harlequin in English,
who wore a half-mask over the eyes and upper mouth, and who had a long,
hooked nose. His dress consisted of the now famous, multi-coloured, lozenged
costume. Harlequin, and the viewpoint espoused by the Harlequin character, was
fundamental to Fo's style of comedy. At the Venice Biennale in 1985, he put on a
show dedicated to the evolution of Harlequin but his interpretation of Harlequin
Fo's Harlequin does not merely cavort and make fun of the baubles the king
wears round his neck but also of his right to wear a crown at all. On another
occasion, he said of Harlequin: 'Arlecchino is someone who refuses this society
lock, stock and barrel, but not because he has another one in mind. He is simply
totally a-social. He goes straight to the heart of things and destroys everything -
honour, logic, common sense and customs' (Fabulazzo, p.375). In a conversation
with Ron ...
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - lriley - LibraryThing
A Marx brothers type of political farce. The play revolves around the theme of misuse of power. In 1969 a bomb was planted in an Italian bank and a number of people were killed. In the aftermath of ... Read full review