Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo: A Playing Up Theatre Company production directed by Sophie Brooks and Darian Nelson at the Rondo Theatre, Larkhall, Feb 21st – 24th at 7.30pm.

One of the most widely performed plays of the late 20th century, performed in over 40 countries, this is based on the the real life death of Giuseppe Pinelli. An anarchist railway worker, he fell from the fourth floor window of a police station in Milan, having been previously accused of robbing a bank.
Tragic as that event was, this is a quickfire farce which ridicules the police and judiciary, thus nailing it’s target perhaps more effectively than a serious piece.

In many ways it’s reminiscent of Joe Orton’s work; similar targets and equally anti-establishment, but it seems unlikely that Dario Fo had seen any Orton in Italy.

The Maniac ( amazingly convincing Simon Shorrock) is questioned at a police station, to return later disguised as a judge examining the police about a suspect who had fallen to his death from their office.

Police brutality, corruption and incompetence are hilariously exposed with an updated script, “Showing corruption is the exception to the rule when the rule is corruption,” says the Maniac.

Trump and Murdoch come under fire too as the play gallops to a finale with two possible endings, equally horrific.

A great play with wonderful sound effects and acting by all. Well worth seeing in these times of puzzling political shenanigans.



Philip Horton