Searing political comedy on stage

Maniac (John Francis) front, Constable (Nick Doughlin) and Superintendent Belleti (Karen Shayler) middle and Inspector Pissani (Phil Spencer), Miss Felleti (Lucy Maxwell) and Inspector Bertozzo (Colin Ritchie) rear. Photo by Pete Weston.

Maniac (John Francis) front, Constable (Nick Doughlin) and Superintendent Belleti (Karen Shayler) middle and Inspector Pissani (Phil Spencer), Miss Felleti (Lucy Maxwell) and Inspector Bertozzo (Colin Ritchie) rear. Photo by Pete Weston.

There’s a change of mood and tempo at the Talisman Theatre in Kenilworth next week with Dario Fo’s great comedy Accidental Death Of An Anarchist.

It runs from Monday February 29 to Saturday March 5, and is directed by Amanda Dodd, a long-time afficianado of the piece. She has chosen the adaptation she feels most reflects the spirit and ambitions of the author and promises dancing, singing and at least one explosion.

While the play was written in the ‘70’s during a time of economic and social crisis throughout Western Europe, it remains relevant, and the play is always performed with the contemporary references re-written.

It is set in the offices of police station during a time of social repression. An “anarchist” has died in mysterious circumstances. The official inquiry teeters between describing the death as a suicide or an “accident”. As the performance evolves and characters change roles, slowly the truth behind the death is exposed.

In between there is slap-stick, with the Constable (Nick Doughlin) and the ever-furious Inspector Bertozzo (Colin Ritchie) interrogating Maniac (John Francis), courtroom drama with a musical interlude from neurotic Inspector Pissani (Phil Spencer) and the sadistic Superintendent Belleti (Karen Shayler) and, finally, confessions and exposure with the arrival of journalist, Miss Feletti (Lucy Maxwell).

Because of the themes and language employed, the theatre advises that the play is suitable only for audiences aged 15 and above.

Performances begin at 7.30pm. Tickets are between £8 and £9. Call 856548 or visit talismantheatre.co.uk to book.