Sydney Theatre Company and Adshel present
Accidental Death of an Anarchist
By Dario Fo
In a new adaption by Francis Greenslade with Sarah Giles

Anarchist_Main Image_HR

Amber McMahon stars in STC’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Photo by Rene Vaile)

 10 September – 27 October
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

A play that is as absurd and paranoid as the times in which we live, Accidental Death of an Anarchist opens at the Sydney Opera House this September directed by Sarah Giles. In a first for the play, and with the blessing of the Fo estate, it will be performed by an all-female cast led by some of the country’s funniest comedians, including Caroline Brazier (ABC’s Rake, STC’s Dinner), Amber McMahon (STC’s The Popular Mechanicals), Julie Forsyth (STC’s The Popular Mechanicals), and Susie Youssef (ABC’s Squinters and Rosehaven). 

Written by Italian Nobel laureate Dario Fo in 1970, this farce with a political sting has become an absurdist classic. Sarah Giles’ decision for an all-female cast was inspired in part by Melissa McCarthy’s iconic performance as Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live. 

“Melissa’s gender wasn’t a provocation or a distraction, she’s simply the best actor for the role,” Giles says. “Her ability to find a balance between truth and exaggeration, to see Spicer in her own particular way and take certain parts of him and highlight them to hilarious and brilliant effect was utter genius.” 

This smart and subversive new adaptation, created by Giles with co-adaptor Francis Greenslade (ABC’s Mad as Hell) is s a glorious battle of the individual against the establishment, of underdog against overlord, of anarchy against tyranny. A man has fallen to his death from a police station window. Did he jump or was he pushed? The cops want a cover up, but first they have to contend with an unlikely detective – a certified lunatic with a knack for impersonation. 

Giles says Accidental Death of an Anarchist is an entertaining criticism of power structures and institutions our society is ruled by. 

“These power structures were invented by men, for men, and are run by men. Who better to bring down the patriarchy and shine a light on its fundamental flaws and corruptions than women?” Giles says “When the powerful mock the powerless, it’s not funny. When the powerless mock the powerful, you’ll wee yourself with laughter.” 

Bringing together some of Australia’s best screen and stage talent which also includes Annie Maynard (ABC’s Upper Middle Bogan, SBS’s Dead Lucky, Network 10’s Playing for Keeps) and Bessie Holland (Foxtel’s Wentworth) this will be a hilarious night at the theatre not to be missed! 

Duration 2hrs 30mins (including interval) 

Director Sarah Giles
Designer Jonathon Oxlade
Lighting Designer Trent Suidgeest
Composer & Sound Designer Stefan Gregory
Assistant Director Heather Fairbairn
With Caroline Brazier, Julie Forsyth, Bessie Holland, Annie Maynard, Amber McMahon, Susie Youssef