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September 4, 2013 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Accidental Death of An Anarchist is a 1983 television version of Belt & Braces Theatre Company's adaptation of Dario Fo's Morte accidentale di un anarchico, a satirical farce based on the real death in police custody of an Italian railway worker and and anarchist; featuring an entirely fictional Maniac invading a police station to expose police corruption and brutality. It contains more than traces of slapstick, Thatcher-era left-wing agitprop, terrible jokes, swearing, vigorous fourth-wall obliteration, great jokes, a fully-functional mock-up of a bomb (that is to say, a bomb), a musical number, a coffee break and a multiple-choice ending. Among other things. If you speak Italian, here is a presentation of an elderly Fo himself as the Maniac, for comparative purposes. If you don't speak Italian, you can still make the comparison, though somewhat less precisely.

The Maniac is played by Gavin Richards, founder of Belt & Braces, who also adapted and directed this and the original 1980 London stage production. Perhaps ironically, he's probably better known as the broad Italian caricature Captain Bertorelli in 'Allo 'Allo.

To explain at least one of the terrible jokes: Dennis Law was a Scottish football player.
posted by Grangousier (5 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Darn it. I forgot to say - the Dario Fo version starts 28-ish minutes in. About here, in fact.
posted by Grangousier at 2:26 PM on September 4, 2013

I love that TV version - hilarious. If you haven't seen it you have to watch it.
posted by awfurby at 3:35 PM on September 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Dario Fo writes some of the funniest scenes I've ever read. I had a phase in the eighties where I read straight through his work, and I was barely able to see the text at times because I was weeping from laughing so hard. Thanks for posting this performance!
posted by ariel_caliban at 7:10 PM on September 4, 2013

posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:14 AM on September 5, 2013

This is brilliant. Thank you.
posted by lucien_reeve at 2:35 AM on September 5, 2013

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