As a performer, how would you use movement to create impact on the audience in the portrayal of the Superintendent in this extract? (18 marks) Extract- Page 42-46
The play ‘Accidental death of an Anarchist’ was written in 1970 by Dario Fo. It’s a satire on police corruption, based on a real case of an anarchist railway worker who ‘fell’ to his death from a police window in 1969. The character of the Superintendent was based on Marcello Guida, who was the Head of the police in Milan in the 1970s during the investigation, therefore part of the cover up for the anarchist’s death. During this extract, the officers are trying frantically to cover up the truth of the incident by creating exaggerated and ridiculous accounts as to how the anarchist ‘fell’. Much to their dismay, the Maniac constantly finds flaws in their stories, which increasingly annoys the Superintendent.
My preferred impact on the audience is to portray the Superintendent as a short-tempered officer who is undermined by the Maniac. I want to convey the Superintendent as a Supervillain by using the influence of Brighella, a stock character of comedia dell’arte. These stock characters should use exaggerated movement throughout the play because they’re not realistic.
At this point in the scene they officers are congratulating the Constable on his clever story that will be used in court, saving the officers their jobs. The Superintendent says, ‘Well done, Constable’ which will be followed by a warm handshake between the Superintendent and the Constable. The handshake will be exaggerated to emphasize the use of using stock characters as an influence. Whatsmore, a handshake is used instead of a hug or pat on the back because I want to highlight to the audience that the officers are still in the police station and hierarchy still applies between the officers. I don’t want him to be portrayed as a kind and encouraging character, as he should be seen in the eyes of the audience as a violent man, and I don’t want the audience to empathize with him at the end. After the Superintendent shakes hands, he will become distracted with opening a bottle of champagne to celebrate the happy occasion as he believes his job is secure and the whole ordeal will go away shortly.
At the start of the play, the Superintendent held the most authority in the room, however due to his l constant out bursts of anger and the Maniacs quick witted comments, the Superintendent no longer possess the authority he used to have. This is highlighted in the play when the Maniac says, ‘Was the suspect a triped, Superintendent’ to which he replies, ‘I beg your pardon?’. During this speech, the Superintendent becomes more frustrated with the Maniac’s sarcastic comments towards the case he has put together. At this point the Superintendent would be facing towards the other officers, celebrating on the...