Playwright Dario Fo


The Accidental Death of An Anarchist

By Dario Fo

Review by Keith Waits

Entire contents copyright © 2014 by Keith Waits. All rights reserved.

The Alley Theater has made a specialty of producing plays by-the-seat-of-their pants. Whether due to unfortunate circumstance or artistic choice, they are no strangers to scrappy theatre that subversively upends the formal protocols of rehearsal discipline and leaps headlong into risk and, perhaps, even chaos. It isn’t always the case, but this latest production of Dario Fo’s notorious farce is one of those cases.

They pull it off mostly because of the creative shorthand available between Scott Davis, Joey Arena, and J.P. Lebangood. Along with Jamie Shannon, Sterling Pratt, and George Robert Bailey, they form a small cast just-ready enough to not blow their lines yet unprepared enough to lend the whole thing a sense of danger.

It also helps that Fo’s play is accepted as ripe for a loose, improvisatory approach. In other words, feel free to mess with it. This The Alley does with relish. If you find this company’s comic sensibility appealing, especially the highly individual work of Mr. Lebangood, then this is the show for you.

Aside from that, the premise offers ample opportunity for commentary on the current social discourse in America, not least of which is the ongoing controversy over police violence. Fo’s story is an investigation into the death of a suspected anarchist (a term that for American audiences connotes everything from street thug to terrorist) after exiting the police headquarters from a fourth-floor window. A “maniac” being questioned by detective who is not the brightest bulb in the precinct manages to impersonate a judge sent to conduct the investigation and proceeds to generate a general uproar that makes fools of everyone.

The Accidental Death of An Anarchist is a pretty broad satirical comedy. Not The Alley at its best, but a silly, entertaining night of theatre nonetheless. Drinks and popcorn are available.


The Accidental Death of An Anarchist

November 13 – 22, 2014

The Alley Theater
633 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202


[box_light]KeithKeith Waits is a native of Louisville who works at the Louisville Visual Art Association during the days, including being one of the hosts of PUBLIC on ARTxFM, but spends most of his evenings indulging his taste for theatre, music and visual arts. His work has appeared in Pure Uncut Candy, TheatreLouisville, and Louisville Mojo. He is now Managing Editor for[/box_light]