DramaFeaturedNorth East & YorkshireReview

Accidental Death of an Anarchist – Tanya Moiseiwitsch Playhouse, Sheffield

Reviewer: Jacob Bush

Writers: Dario Fo and Franca Rame

Adaptor: Tom Basden

Director: Daniel Raggett

Accidental Death of an Anarchist is the first play to be presented at the Tanya Moiseiwitsch Playhouse, formerly the Crucible Studio. It is set in a police station and focuses on The Maniac, the mysterious central character, as he gets himself tied up in a police investigation. It is an absolutely hilarious play written by Dario Fo and Franca Rame and adapted and updated by Tom Basden. It is now packed full of modern cultural references and makes some strong political statements, which makes the play laugh a minute whilst still making the audience think and examine the state of the nation.

Daniel Raggett directs the 100 miles an hour play fantastically. He fully leans into the surreal nature of the text whilst it still feeling relatable and almost believable. The energy remains incredibly high from the first second to the last. Anna Reid’s design is simple but boasts some elements of theatrical genius whilst Nick Barstow’s musical arrangements and direction adds more energy and comedy to an already fast paced and humorous production. Lottie Hines CDG has assembled a cast of some of the best comedic actors in the country.

Daniel Rigby leads the small cast as The Maniac. His performance is phenomenal. He is heavily responsible for keeping the energy of the piece so high and his comedic acting skills are to be reckoned with. He even gets to showcase his strong singing ability.

Tony Gardner takes on the role of The Superintendent. He very much keeps the play grounded in some sense of reality. Jordan Metcalfe is excellent as the somewhat dim-witted Daisy. He has great comic timing and he and Gardner make an excellent duo, bouncing off each other brilliantly. Shane David-Joseph plays Joseph and, despite not having a huge number of lines, never misses a moment to get a laugh whilst never forcing the comedy into the play. Howard Ward’s performance as Burton is enjoyable to watch, although it would have been nice if he had a little more to do. Ruby Thomas completes the cast as journalist Fi Phelan. She portrays the character very well, bringing a great contrast to the questionable culture portrayed within the police force.

Accidental Death of an Anarchist is an outstanding piece of theatre, packed full of laughs whilst still having some serious and topical messages for the audience to take home with them. Be sure to catch this fantastic cast perform this thoroughly enjoyable play – but be quick, as this really is becoming a hot ticket.

Runs until Saturday 15th October 2022.

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The Yorkshire & North East team is under the editorship of Jacob Bush. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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