Dario Fo's Political Theatre Essay

1009 words - 4 pages

Dario Fo's Political Theatre Dario Fo's plays were written in Italy during the 60's and 70's. During this time there was widespread dissatisfaction throughout Italy towards the government and various factions within the country , the nation seethed with discontent.Dario Fo was born in 1926 in the Italian state of Lombardy. During the fifties , Fo , along with his wife Franca Rame , had a succesful career as an actor , director and writer of comedies in conventional theatre. During the sixties , they abondened conventional theatre and chose the working classes as the target audience for their new, left wing plays. Fo's new productions were based upon the Commedia dell'arte of renaissance times. His main influence is the old guillari, wandering performers who would perform for the masses using their own style of satire , a ambiguous disrespect for the authorities (particularly the church).Fo , a dissatisfied citizen of Italy , used theatre to attack and ridicule Italy's governing system.To convey his socio-political messages to the masses , Fo incorporated elements into his theatrical productions assist in his conveyance.Fo's plays are more flexible than traditional productions , were written to be alterable for different audiences and allowed for greater audience participation.Fo's plays contained messages , and to help convey them , Fo would allow the audience to become more involved and take on the message of the play more personally.For example - In Accidental Death of an Anarchist " Superintendent : I don't mind telling you that we've got a few planted in the audience tonight, in the normal way - would you like to see them ? " He claps . Voices from various points in the theatre.Voices : Yes sir ! what are your orders ? Maniac : ( to audience ) Don't worry , they'e only actors. The real ones are sitting tight and keeping out of sight. " This was meant to show the audience of police infiltrators in certain aspects of society. By interacting with the audience in this fashion , Fo has shown them them that police observance and interaction can very well affect them. By aiming a joke directly at the audience , he had more effectively made them think of their situations more closely.Another element Fo used in his productions is Satire. Satire allowed Fo to firstly attract an audience , in his case he targeted the lesser educated working classes , who would in general appreciate a comedy rather than a intellectual debate on the working class situation ( This is not meant to imply that the target audience was stupid ). And secondly , to engage the audience in a language they would appreciate and more importantly that would encourage the audience to reflect upon the social situations Fo had emphasised.One of the main focus' that Fo uses satire on to make light of is the police. With the way Fo portrayed the police in his productions , it can safely concluded that Fo...

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