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Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Italian title: Morte accidentale di un anarchico) is perhaps the best-known play by the Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo.

About the play

The play is based on events involving a real person, Giuseppe Pinelli, who fell - or was thrown - from the fourth floor window of a Milan police station in 1969. He was accused of bombing a bank (the Piazza Fontana bombingmarker). The accusation is widely seen as part of the Italian Far Right's strategy of tension.

The events of the play itself, however, are fictional. The play opens with Inspector Bertozzo interrogating The Maniac, a histrionic character, on the first floor of the police station. The Maniac, however, constantly outsmarts the dim-witted Bertozzo and, when Bertozzo leaves the room, intercepts a phone call from Inspector Pissani. The phone call lets the Maniac know that a judge is due at the police station to investigate the interrogation and death of the anarchist. The Maniac decides to impersonate the judge, and successfully does so. He gets the police to re-enact the events, in the actual fourth floor room, and also involves a woman journalist who is trying to probe the events.

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