Dario Fo

Dario Fo : Revolutionary Theatre

3.72 (11 ratings by Goodreads)
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For three decades Dario Fo has been the world's most performed living playwright and Europe's leading radical dramatist. He was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature at the age of 71 for his contributions as a writer, actor and mime artist over half a century. A controversial figure, he has also been a communist for most of his life.

In the first political biography of Dario Fo, Tom Behan traces Fo's life and work from his beginnings in cabaret and mime in postwar Italy and his early writings for television and radio, to the development of his political ideas and the influence of his plays both inside and outside Italy.

Behan broadens his study to examine the importance of Fo's theatre and explores the relationship between mass leftwing movements and Fo's activities as playwright and performer. To illustrate these links, Behan makes a detailed analysis of the key themes in Fo's plays - state repression in The Accidental Death of an Anarchist, rebellion in Can't Pay, Won't Pay, the tragedy of leftwing terrorism in Trumpets and Raspberries, and the anti-Clerical satire of Mistero Buffo .
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 28.19mm | 453.59g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745313620
  • 9780745313627

Table of contents


Brief Chronology


1. The Bourgeois Period

2. The Revolutionary Period

3. Accidental Death of an Anarchist

4. Can't Pay? Won't Pay!

5. Mistero Buffo

6. The Downturn Period


Appendix A: Fo's theatrical coup

Appendix B: An `intervention show' in Brescia

Appendix C: A telegram to The Commune


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Review quote

"Behan.... has written the first political biography of DarioFo....Chapters 1, 2, and 6 provide biographical information about Fo, necessarily intermixed with background on Italy's post-war leftist political movements. Fo's greatest period - from 1968, when he broke with the commercial theater, until the late 1970's, when leftist movements began to wane - is recounted in particular detail. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 analyze (mostly in political terms) his most frequently performed theater pieces, .....Behan is unusually qualified for this undertaking. Recommended for collections supporting advanced study in either modern Italian politics or political theater..." -- Library Journal."..reveals much about Fo's political and theatrical life, .."-- Kirkus Reviews"There are few in-depth studies of Fo available in English, and this book is a welcome addition....Behan traces Fo's career in a chronological fashion, from his initial involvement with "legitimate" theater and television, to his alternative theater groups and his valorization by middle-class audiences and high-cultural entities alike ( Fo received the Nobel Prize in 1997). The descriptions and analyses of Italian politics are especially well done." --CHOICE
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About Tom Behan

Tom Behan (1957 - 2010) was Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies at the University of Kent. His books include Defiance: The Story of One Man Who Stood Up to the Sicilian Mafia (2008), See Naples & Die: The Camorra & Organised Crime (2009) and The Italian Resistance: Fascists, Guerrillas and The Allies (Pluto Press, 2009).
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Rating details

11 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 18% (2)
4 55% (6)
3 9% (1)
2 18% (2)
1 0% (0)
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