Lina Nicolli

The fierce humanity of Dario Fo

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Lina Nicolli recalls a memorable preformance by Dario Fo, the radical Italian theatre maker and Nobel prize-winning playwright, who died last month. His excoriating farces, such as Accidental Death of an Anarchist, satirised the corruption of the Italian state.

When an unassuming man walked onto the bare stage, I was ready for the kind of worthy evening that you know is probably doing you good, but is not exactly fun — a bit like bran for breakfast.

But as soon as Dario Fo started talking, gesticulating, moving around, totally in control of the connection he was making with his audience, it was obvious that I was very wrong. Eating out of the palm of his hand doesn’t even begin to capture it.

Rebel Footprints

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If you’ve ever wondered what possible link there might be between the actors Elizabeth Taylor and Orson Welles and Udham Singh, the man who shot the British officer responsible for the 1919 Amritsar massacre, then Rebel Footprints A Guide to Uncovering London’s Radical History will enlighten you.

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