This classic play is a farce based on the real-life events surrounding the death of a Milanese railway worker Giuseppe Pinelli during his police interrogation.
While being questioned over another in a series of bombing he “fell” out of a window at police HQ.
In order to reflect the corruption of the police authority Fo creates the Maniac. Through this device the Maniac is able to insult, question, ridicule and expose the truth from the hapless police staff to great comic effect.
Fo’s work has a distinctive style. “Anarchist” is a Commedia Dell Arte play which employs slapstick Lazzi, visual gags and reflects the clear divide between the mania of the maniac and the depiction of police brutality and incompetence.
The cast control the script with great confidence and commitment. Simon Shorrock is excellent as the Maniac; from the outset capturing the essence of delivery and style with impressive control.
The hapless, floundering Police team are equally strong: Ralf Togneri (Insp. Bertozzo), James Coy (Inspector Pissani), Michael Seeley (Superintendent) and Conor Whelan (Constables) their combined overwhelming incompetence sharply contrasting the perception and questioning of the Maniac.
Direction by Sophie Brooks and Darian Nelson is sharp and the simple set works well in the small space.
This is a good opportunity to see such an important text; a thought provoking and entertaining night out.
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Reviewer: Petra Schofield
Accidental Death of an Anarchist was a Playing Up Theatre Company production at The Rondo Theatre in Bath.