Accidental Death of an Anarchist



  • A black comedy by the Italian playwright Dario Fo,first performed in 1979 in Varese. The play holds the record as Britain'slongest-running fringe theater presentation; in 1980 - 81the Belt and Braces Company gave 622 performances of the play at Wyndham'sTheatre, London, seen by more than 400,000 theatregoers.

    The play is based on the true case of the anarchist GuiseppePinelli, who somehow fell to his death from a window at police headquarterswhile being interrogated; officials said he jumped. Fo's play makesuse of a Fool, who impersonates a Captain of Police, thereby exposingthe inconsistencies in the police's version. In one ending, the Foolis himself thrown to his death and resurrected. In another, he escapesby threatening to send a tape of police testimony to the press.