The Accidental Death of an Anarchist

Play

Writers: Dario Fo

Overview

Show Information

Book
Category
Play
Number of Acts
2
First Produced
1970
Genres
Dark Comedy, Satire, Historical/Biographical
Settings
Contemporary, Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
A police station in Milan, Italy, 1969
Cast Size
small
Licensor
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, High School, Mostly Male Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Small Cast, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult characters

Synopsis

A lone maniac sets the police of Italy on their heads in Nobel Prize-winner Dario Fo’s classic play Accidental Death of an Anarchist. The Milan police force has been wildly condemned by the public following the death of a young, falsely-accused anarchist after his interrogation at their hands. Official reports of the incident conflict: in the first report, the man’s death is listed as “accidental,” whereas it is later listed as “suicide.” In the midst of this, the Maniac is hauled into the police station on charges of “impersonation.” The Maniac knows the police cannot hold him, as he has been legally-certified insane, and takes the opportunity to impersonate a judge sent to reopen the inquiry into the anarchist death, a forensic expert, and a bishop. Through his probing, hilarious, and shocking investigation, the Maniac reveals himself to be a hero to the people--and the police department’s worst nightmare.

Lead Characters