Accidental Death of an Anarchist takes a satirical approach to the political problems of 1970’s Italy. The play centres on the death of the character Salsedo, a suspected anarchist whose suspicious death in police custody is subject to an investigation. The character is found dead having jumped or been pushed out of the police station’s fourth floor window. An inquest takes place which attempts to determine whether death was caused by suicide or assassination.
The play opens with the scene of the fourth floor police office where Salsedo fell to his death. Inspector Bertozzo interviews a crazed man, known as the Maniac, and discovers he had been arrested many times for impersonation. After causing chaos, the Maniac is told to leave, but returns soon after to look through confidential police files. The Maniac later disguises himself as a Judge and deals with the inquest himself, outsmarting Inspector Bertozzo and causing many problems within the police who were involved with the incident.
The play was mostly enjoyable to watch, but the ambiguity in the first act dragged, particularly with moments of too much anger from the police officers, which was meant that some of the comic moments were lost. The performance was more enjoyable in the second act, where a greater range of expression was used to illustrate anger and frustration, other than simply shouting. The Maniac performed the role very convincingly, meaning that the humour created by this character was always well received by the audience.