Anarchy In Milan

An entertaining and sardonic tale set in modern-day Milan.

Originally written by Dario Fo, "The Accidental Death of an Anarchist" is a play that displays the biting wit and brilliance of the playwright and the circumstances that inspired him. The play is performed as part of Thespo 2000 and stars Arghia Lahiri, Vishal Dhandhia, Friesha Bohmanibehram, Vinifer Gandhi and Rohit Bagai. Set in modern-day Milan, the play outlines the folly, myth and corruption associated with a contemporary working government in a manner that is entertaining and sardonic.

Somewhere in Milan, the accidental death of a fascist anarchist under police custody causes a stink among the bureaucracy and a cover-up on behalf of the local law-enforcement officers. After the subsequent (and abrupt) closure of the case, a maniac (Vishal Dhandial) illegally infiltrates the high-ranking administration to re-open the inquiry and prove the involvement of the latter in the death of the anarchist.

The play comes together effortlessly with a fluid script and a talented cast. The boundless energy displayed on stage after the first act is worthy of admiration and Vishal Dhandia's characterisation of a megalomaniac is enough to keep anyone awake and on the edge of their seats.

The consistency of the production and the crew for the ninety-minute duration of the play is also commendable and the punchy soundtrack is an added incentive for the audience. Directed in a manner, that is almost obliquely entertaining, Arghia Lahiri's adaptation of Dario Fo's story is most friendly and relevant to the Indian context.

This article was first published on 15 Oct 2000.