Tom Basden adapts the accidental death of an anarchist


Sheffield Theaters will premiere a brand new adaptation of Dario Fo’s classic play Accidental death of an anarchist adapted by Tom Basden, comedian, actor and author of the recent hit BBC comedy Here we are.

Dario Fo’s satire is a wacky examination of institutional power – where a police headquarters undertakes a judicial review of the death of a suspect’s ‘accidental’ death in police custody weeks earlier. A really timely review of our police powers and how they are regulated. BAFTA Award-winning comedic actor Daniel Rigby (pictured, who previously worked with Tom) will play The Maniac – who tricks the police into performing a wacky recreation of the incident, exposing the senseless corruption and terrifying idiocy at the heart of the system.

This major new production will take place at Sheffield Theatres’ Studio Theater from From Friday 23 September to Saturday 15 October 2022. The last feature of Tom’s hit comedy on ITV plebs will also make his debut this fall, he also wrote and starred in the BBC 2 comedy Here we are alongside Katherine Parkinson, Jim Howick and Alison Steadman. A member of British comedy sketch group Cowards, Tom has written and performed for comedy shows on Channel 4. peep show and often collaborated with fellow Cowards member Tim Key.

Dario Fo (writer) an Italian actor-author, can claim to be one of the most performed living playwrights in the world. Born on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy in 1926, he made his theater debut in 1952 and wrote, acted and painted until 15 days before his death on October 16, 2016. His work went through different phases, always in the company of his actress wife Franca Rame. His stage career began in political cabaret, then moved on to one-act farces, then to satirical television and to major Italian theatres. In 1968, he broke with conventional theater to found a cooperative dedicated to the production of committed works in what were then called “alternative places”. His best-known work, including Accidental death of an anarchist, Mistero Buffo and Trumpets and Raspberries, date of this period. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1997 and the Royal Swedish Academy’s official citation said he “imitated the buffoons of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the oppressed”.

Tom Basden (Adapter) is a three-time BAFTA-nominated writer. His work for the theater includes To party (Sydney Festival and Arts Theatre), Joseph K. (Gate Theatre), there is a war (National Theater), Holes (Edinburgh Festival and The Arcola) and The crocodile (Manchester International Festival). He won an Edinburgh Comedy Award for his stand-up shows. On screen, Tom writes and acts in sitcoms Here we are for BBC1 and plebs for ITV2 and is a regular cast member in after life for Netflix. Tom has also written episodes of peep show, Fresh meat and Bad men. For Radio 4, Tom directed two series of the sketch show cowardsthree series of his sitcom To party and five sets of Tim Key’s Late night poetry program.

Daniel Ragget (Director) most recently directed ANNEX X by Joseph Charlton as part of Sonia Friedman’s 2021 RE:EMERGE season in the West End. The production starred Golden Globe Award winner Emma Corrin in the lead role and received rave reviews, before airing on Sky Arts. Previously, Daniel adapted and directed Jean Cocteau’s film The human voice for the Gate Theater (nominated for Best Director, Off West End Awards). He has also directed productions of Anna Karenina and Mary Stuart at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Daniel has worked extensively as Associate Director on productions at the National Theatre, West End and Broadway, including as Associate Director to Ivo van Hove on West Side Story (Broadway) and Network (Broadway/National Theater). Other credits as an associate include: Noises off (West end); All about Eve (West end); Mary Stuart (West End/Almeida/UK Tour); Hamlet (Almeida) and 1984 (West End/Broadway).

Daniel Rigby (The Maniac) is an accomplished actor and comedian trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Since then, he has starred in several popular television series, including the famous film by Charlie Brooker black mirrorBAFTA winning show Flowers for channel 4, BBC Big School and Medical certificate for Sky Atlantic. His role as Eric Morecambe in Eric and Ernie for the BBC won him Best Actor at the BAFTA Television Awards, 2011. Other credits include ITV’s plebs and Jericho and Agatha Christie’s Marple: A Caribbean Mystery for the BBC. In the theater, Daniel is known for One man, two governors and twelfth night (National Theater), Frost/Nixon and Dream of a summer night (Sheffield Crucible) and more recently, Noises off (Lyric Hammersmith and the West End). More recently, Daniel worked on The Witch Hunter opposite Daisy May Cooper and Tim Key of Baby Cow Productions for Bafta-nominated BBC2 Landscapers alongside Olivia Colman and David Thewlis for HBO Max. Daniel will next be seen in Tom Jones directed by Georgia Parris for ITV Studios.


From Friday 23 September to Saturday 15 October 2022

Press performance Thursday, September 29, 2022, 7 p.m.

A production of Sheffield Theaters


By Dario Fo and Franco Rame

Adapter Tom Basden
Director Daniel Ragget

Designate Anna Reid

casting director Lotte Hines

To buy tickets here.


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