Accidental Death of an Anarchist

Accidental Death of an Anarchist as a Play of Social and Political Comment

Dario Fo, author of Accidental Death of an Anarchist, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1997 and the Swedish Academy while awarding him the prize noted that Fo’s “works are open for creative additions, dislocations, continually encouraging actors to improvise”. Fo has always wanted his plays to be improvised and adapted in keeping with the environment and the conditions of performance. This is why he encouraged adaptations instead of translations of his scripts into other languages as long as it suits the socio-economic / cultural context of performance with the political thrust not being undermined or distorted. From the beginning he has sought to develop a kind of theatre which does not merely reflect documents but actively participates in the collective life and struggles of his audiences and becomes a form of collaborative political action.

The reason for Fo’s immense success and his ability to evoke the kind of audience response as he did in Italy is not just the artistic vitality of his theatre but also the political immediacy of the matters he addresses in his plays like Accidental Death of an Anarchist, which essentially becomes a performance-centred rather than script-centred text. Javed Mallick has identified one...

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