liberated from false expectations. Fo saw an opportunity for cultural change through theatre. Thisis in part why Fo has persisted with his grotesque, popular, comic, traditional, non-cathartic theatre – to effect revolutionary change. All of these influences are evident in “
Morte accidentale di unanarchico”.
In December 1970, almost exactly a year after the Piazza Fontana bombs, Fo’s play “
Morteaccidentale di un anarchico”
opened in Milan. This play was conceived as a work of counter information following the actions of the police in blaming anarchists, not right wing terrorists, for the bombing of the bank in Milan. It is based on the Pinelli case: a Milanese anarchist railwayworker was charged with placing bombs in the Milan railway station in 1969, and then charged withthe bombing in Piazza Fontana, which killed 16 people. On December 15
1969 Pinelli died after “falling” from a fourth floor window of the Milan police station where he was being interrogated.Fo’s plot involves an investigation by a madman,
, with a genius for disguise, conducted inthe fictional offices mirroring the real ones where Pinelli fell to his death. Fo, brilliantly establishesa continuity with the past (Italian popular theatre), while trying to effect change in contemporaryItaly, with a view to creating a new Italy.The play opens with
discussing his record of impersonation and establishes his‘credentials’ as a certified madman who enjoys a fool’s licence to state the truth because he is a