When Fo was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in , the Swedish committee praised his achievement in reviving the traditions of the giullari — the jester-cum-minstrels of the middle ages who improvised their comedy, jibing at the establishment of the times. His greatest achievement as an actor-author was Mistero Buffo , a reworking of medieval mystery plays, which he performed with masterly skill as a one-man show, making exhilarating use of an onomatopoeic language called grammelot and a mixture of dialects. Other actors have since done their best to emulate him, with varying degrees of success, and his texts will continue to inspire lively theatrical invention. His socialist father was the stationmaster of this small village named after an obscure saint, where trains between Milan and the Swiss borders rarely stopped. Felice was transferred to other stations, including the fishing village of Porto Valtravaglia, where the young Dario heard the locals singing and recounting tales, giving him his first lessons in the art of performance. Pina later published a book of family reminiscences.
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His aim was to present this counter-information in a way that would be accessible to all. The event took place in Milan, Italy, in December , at the end of a tumultuous decade. The two main political parties in Italy at the time were the Christian Democrats and the Italian Communists, with underground forces conspiring to keep the Communists out of government, or to introduce a non-democratic system possibly fascist or totalitarian.
Activists reacted by demanding new politics and advocating for revolution, with students ready to join forces with striking trade unionists. By blaming the left, this "strategy of tension" was also designed to halt the growth of strength of the working class.
An hour earlier, a bag of explosives had been found at a different bank in Milan, but it did not detonate; the police blew it up rather than disarming it, thus destroying a key piece of evidence. Nobody knows the full truth of what happened that day, but newspapers reported that anarchist groups were responsible.
Giuseppe Pino Pinelli was one of the first anarchists to be taken in for questioning. He was detained for three days before "falling" out of a fourth-floor window to his death around midnight on December Another anarchist, ballet dancer Pietro Valpreda, was put in jail for three years for his supposed complicity. There were massive inconsistencies between the various reports of what happened that night, a fact Fo capitalizes on throughout the play. The script was adapted for each performance to take into account new developments.
On May 17, , three days after his bodyguard was declared unnecessary, Calabresi was murdered. Marino is Innocent! Accidental Death of an Anarchist has been performed in over 40 countries, including fascist Chile and apartheid South Africa. The first performance took place just a few hours after a demonstration to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Piazza Fontana bombing. A student was killed by tear gas fired by police, and the next day participants convened to discuss the death. They ended up bringing the city center to a halt with pickets, marches, and demonstrations.
Fo did not advertise his play, yet even so, it was so popular - and so timely - that people had to be turned away one night. Fo often performed outside of conventional theaters, such as in public squares or occupied factories, wanting to bring his message to the common people.
There was a "third act" in each performance, a debate between the actors and the audience on the issues raised, with the intention of empowering the audience to think critically and hopefully take action. Fo would also typically begin the evening by talking about current events and finishing with a discussion of the historical context.
He rewrote the play many times during rehearsals and also made alterations based on public reaction or in response to ongoing events. However, Fo has given translators and directors the freedom to adapt the play as they see fit, substituting appropriate cultural and political references and changing the setting.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist Study Guide
His aim was to present this counter-information in a way that would be accessible to all. The event took place in Milan, Italy, in December , at the end of a tumultuous decade. The two main political parties in Italy at the time were the Christian Democrats and the Italian Communists, with underground forces conspiring to keep the Communists out of government, or to introduce a non-democratic system possibly fascist or totalitarian. Activists reacted by demanding new politics and advocating for revolution, with students ready to join forces with striking trade unionists. By blaming the left, this "strategy of tension" was also designed to halt the growth of strength of the working class.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist
Buy Study Guide Bertozzo Bertozzo is the amalgam of several real-life police officers. In Italy, jokes about the carabinieri, one of the three police forces, are common; Bertozzo fits the stereotype that is typically the target of these jokes. We meet Bertozzo at the beginning of the play as he interviews the Maniac regarding his latest impersonation. His lines are humorless and serve as a means for the Maniac to display his own wit. The Maniac The Maniac is the pivotal character in the play. It is through the Maniac that Fo satirizes the police, reveals the inconsistencies in their stories, demonstrates the questionable nature of their interrogation techniques, and presents counter-information to what was being presented about the case in the press. Plots consisted primarily of stock characters rather than individuals, and actors usually wore masks.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist Character List
The Maniac constantly outsmarts the dim-witted Bertozzo and, when Bertozzo leaves the room, intercepts a phone call from Inspector Pissani. The Maniac decides to impersonate the judge, Marco Malipiero, an opportunity he has been waiting a while for, and to humiliate the policemen responsible for the "accidental" death. Bertozzo chases him, running into Pissani, who punches him in retaliation for "blowing a raspberry" at him. The Maniac, now impersonating Malipiero, finds Pissani and his lackey, the Constable, in the room where the anarchist was during his interrogation. Telling them that he is Malipiero, the Maniac asks for the Superintendent, who was involved with the interrogation with Pissani and the Constable. The Maniac orders the three policemen to re-enact the events of the interrogation; in turn fabricating many of the events, such as changing beating the anarchist to making jokes with him, incorporating new lines into the transcript and even breaking out in song.
Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist – a heady blend of vaudeville and politics