NUI Galway to stage explosive political farce dealing with police corruption

NUI Galway’s O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance will from tonight (Thursday ) stage Nobel Prize winning Italian playwright Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of the Anarchist in a translation by Simon Nye. The show runs from 7-9 March at 8pm with a special Sunday matinee on 10 March at 2pm.

Considered a classic of twentieth century theatre that is both provocative and humorous, Fo’s political farce is made immediately relevant in this new production that updates the action and changes the setting to Ireland. Under the direction of a mysterious maniac, the play sees a group of madcap policemen hilariously stage and restage a cover-up of the scandalous death of an anarchist during their police interrogation into the bombing of a bank.

Produced and performed by second year undergraduates of the BA Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway, this production is an energetic clownish physical theatre piece that showcases the talents of a new emerging generation of exciting theatre-makers.

The play is directed by Dr Ian R. Walsh, a Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway. His books include Experimental Irish Theatre and The Theatre of Enda Walsh. His professional drecting credits include Purple Path to the Poppy Field, The Magic Flute, Orfeo ed Eurydice, The Wandering Scholar and Riders to the Sea. In 2016 Walsh directed the first full production at the O’Donoghue Centre when he staged Sophie Treadwell’s expressionistic Machinal to much acclaim.

Speaking ahead of the production, Dr Walsh said that although the play was inspired by police corruption in Italy in the 1970s it speaks directly to the recently exposed corruption scandals of An Garda Síochana brought to light by the Charleton Tribunal.

“Thus we thought to transpose the piece to a cartoon version of Ireland with the style of the production being one that sees the zany commedia dell’arte of Italy meet the absurdity of Father Ted.

“What is fabulous about Fo’s piece is how it manages to be challenging politically whilst still being very entertaining. The script also pushes the students in terms of physical characterisation, precision of movement and the creation of a presentational form of expression that runs counter to the dominant realist modes of acting with which they are familiar.”

Tickets are €5 and available on the door and online at eventbrite.com

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