Where to go this week - - by Emily Yates

Accidental Death of an Anarchist – New Venture Theatre, Brighton

Accidental Death of an Anarchist – New Venture Theatre, Brighton Image: New Venture Theatre

The New Venture Theatre’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist is now in the midst of a nine-night run at the venue, with performances ending this Saturday. The fringe community theatre has triumphed once again with a hilarious – and deeply stirring – take on Dario Fo’s agitprop classic that could not have been more aptly timed considering the current political climate.

The New Venture production is bold and high-energy throughout, with Des Potton managing the perfect mix of buffoonery, charisma, and underlying manipulative darkness in the role of ‘the Maniac’.  Culann Smyth and Robert Purchese are cast to perfection in the roles of the two senior police inspectors, injecting the characters with a deranged nervousness as their surfaces crack through with guilt; all the way to the play’s shock ending.

Fo’s 1970 farce is the perfect example of the Italian tradition of Commedia dell’arte turned to political effect – using the art of masquerade to break down audience perceptions and remind us that we are all complicit in the ethical decisions surrounding us. Rod Lewis’ production takes the fascist abuses of police power of 1960s Milan and weaves its own contemporary commentary throughout – exactly the kind of artistic/disruptive licence that Dario Fo has always encouraged. Community theatre at its best.

Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist is running from Tuesday 21st to Saturday 25th June at The New Venture Theatre, with performances starting at 7.45pm. Tickets are £9 – for more information or to book, click here.

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