Acclaimed playwright, theatre actor and Nobel Laureate Dario Fo passed away at the age of 90 in Milan. Famous for his cutting political satires, he won the Nobel prize for literature in 1997 and his most famous works include, ‘Accidental Death of an Anarchist’ and ‘Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!’
He is also known for his one-man theatre style and his ‘Mistero Buffo’ was performed by him for almost 30 years. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, a target himself of Fo’s sharp wit, remembered him on Thursday as “one of the great protagonists of theatre, culture and the civic life of our country”.
He said: “His satire, his research, his work on set design, his multi-faceted artistic activity remain the legacy of a great Italian in the world.”
Born in March 1926 in Sangiano, he was conscripted towards the end of World War II but managed to escape, spending the last months of the war hidden in an attic.
He established the Fo-Rame theatre company in 1957 and his work continued to be at loggerheads with the government because of their ‘dissenting’ nature. Being critical of the political establishment many of his plays led to battles with the censors and attempts at suppression.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Fo’s best-known play, was written in response to the real-life death of a political anarchist while in police custody.
First performed in 1970, it went on to be staged in more than 40 countries.