After being greeted by an actor playing a grand piano, poking fun at the audience as they took to their seats, I sat down to enjoy the latest 2 hour production put on by Loughborough University’s Stage Society. With a basic yet effective setting depicting a police station, and a curious outline of a static body lying on the ground, I was instantly drawn in by what events may unfold as someone who had never heard of the award-winning play before.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist is essentially a politically charged comedy by Dario Fo. After a bomb goes off, notoriously fascist police officers bring in some left-wing anarchists for interrogation and during questioning, one mysteriously falls out of a window. Three weeks later, a ‘maniac’, brought in to the very same police headquarters decides to have a little fun of his own, and manipulates the police in to revealing what truly happened.
At a first glance, this show seems to deal with some serious issues that are not usually handled well in comedic atmospheres. However, when I saw the production last night this worry was put to rest as it successfully integrated underlying political issues with slapstick, knockabout humour. Something that was interesting still was the attempt to bring topical issues that our everyday society face to light here but due to this, the atmosphere created throughout is noticeably twofold.
At times, it can be difficult to find the perfect balance between humour and sincerity during the show, and as such it can be seen as a production of extremes. Part 1 was everything I had expected from the show – laughter and light-heartedness – and part 2 brought more of a heavy message along with it in addition to that, which for me at least felt like I watched two different plays in the same sitting at times. However, this didn’t mean that it wasn’t enjoyable – despite some moments of overdone jokes and a bit of intense lecturing, the impeccably thrown together cast shined with their obvious passion and dedication to their roles. Knowing that some involved were brand new to stage as well gave them extra brownie points, in addition the overall mocking and self-deprecating tone that was downright hysterical!
Accidental Death of an Anarchist brought a large audience to cope auditorium on its opening night, and it’s definitely safe to say nobody left disappointed. From start to finish, laughs could be heard around the room and if that’s not what a good night sounds like, then I don’t know what is.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist is showing at Cope Auditorium on the 12th and 13th May 2016. Reserve your tickets now by emailing email@example.com £5 NUS and £8 non-NUS and be sure to join the Facebook group for all the latest updates.