Based around true events, Accidental death of an anarchist explores the investigation into the death of a criminal via the fourth floor of a 1970’s police station, this is shown by the use of the blue heavy police uniform of the period, and the well used proscenium stage, decorated with the usual hideous wallpaper of the time, complete with wood cladding, unsightly filing cabinets and various photographs, it showed a convincingly accurate portrayal of the surroundings. On first examination, it seems simple, but on further inspection there are various well thought through details.
There was not a massive use of sound in the performance & other than a few various well-placed & relevant sound effects such as comedy bangs & clashes, the performers’ voices did 99% of the work, one particular highlight was the closing scene of the first act when the cast burst into a rendition of the Public Enemy hit “Don’t Believe The Hype” utilising the dull office furniture in a way in which it’s makers never intended. The only other use of music in the performance was the Sex Pistols’ aptly named “Anarchy in the U.K.” The dull lighting was what was to be expected, with no special effects used except for the spotlights used for the rapping cast members.
The three main characters were the slightly slow Inspector Bertozzo, the short-tempered Inspector Pissani and the main character, only known to the audience as “The Maniac.” The maniac is the character who is initially being interrogated by inspector Bertozzo, but upon the inspector leaving the room briefly, the maniac intercepts a phone call meant for Bertozzo & finds that a judge is due to visit the station investigating the anarchists’ death. The Maniac decides to pose as said judge & fish for information causing chaos throughout the station, his portrayal of the character is brilliant, as any part requiring the actor to play various roles within one main role shows clear talent. The other characters also showed a good portrayal of their own roles, albeit nowhere near as individual, original or funny as that of the maniac.
The dialogue was both formal & informal but naturalistic throughout, this was predictable, as the script does not leave much room for any change or stylisation other than the opportunity for the cast to add their own portrayal of further slapstick comedy, such as the prank phone call resulting in some comedy violence. I think that the fact that the original script is semi-based around true events doesn’t affect the quality, either positively or negatively.
I think that the casting was very good, and the director chose the cast well, and as I have already mentioned, the performance of “The Maniac” was one of the best I have seen in a good long while, although his role did not require double casting as such, he was forced to play roles-within-a-role, and was superb. Overall I thought this performance was a credit to the original piece, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone, laughs for all guaranteed and money well spent.