News: Cast announced for Accidental Death of an Anarchist

Sheffield Theatres has announced the full cast for their production of Accidental Death of an Anarchist, which will open as the first production in the newly named Tanya Moiseiwitsch Playhouse (previously Studio Theatre), in Sheffield on Friday 23 September. Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s farcical examination of police power is presented in a new adaptation by comedian, writer and actor Tom Basden (ITV’s Plebs and BBC comedy Here We Go).

Playing the role of The Maniac is the previously announced BAFTA-winning actor Daniel Rigby (Sheffield’s Frost/Nixon, Channel 4’s Flowers, Netflix’s Black Mirror and BBC’s Eric and Ernie). Further casting includes: Shane David-Joseph (Jerusalem) playing Joseph, Tony Gardner (BBC’s Last Tango in Halifax) playing The Superintendent, Jordan Metcalfe (Jack Absolute Flies Again) playing Daisy, Ruby Thomas (Pride and Prejudice) playing Fi Phelan, and Howard Ward (Pride and Prejudice) playing Burton.

Daniel Rigby returns to Sheffield Theatres for his third production, having performed in Frost/Nixon and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ruby Thomas and Howard Ward also return having both performed in Pride and Prejudice.

Shane David-Joseph, Tony Gardner and Jordan Metcalfe make their Sheffield Theatres debut with Accidental Death of an Anarchist.

We know we’re up to our necks in the sh*t. That’s why we walk with our heads held high!

An irrepressible, shape-shifting fraudster known only as The Maniac is brought into Police Headquarters just as the officers inside prepare for a judicial review of the ‘accidental’ death of a suspect while held in custody weeks earlier.

Unable to the resist the opportunity to hold court, The Maniac dupes the police into performing a farcical recreation of the incident, exposing the absurd corruption and terrifying idiocy at the heart of the system.

With Daniel Rigby (Frost/Nixon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as The Maniac, Dario Fo’s riotous 20th century classic is adapted by BAFTA-nominated and Edinburgh Comedy Award-Winning writer Tom Basden.

Accidental Death of an Anarchist will be the first production to be staged in the Tanya Moiseiwitsch Playhouse; newly named to honour the pioneering theatre designer, whose bold and adventurous style is reflected in the plays performed in the flexible space.

Daniel Raggett, Director of Accidental Death of an Anarchist, said:

‘I’m really excited to be working with a brilliant cast and creative team to bring Tom Basden’s timely adaptation of Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist to Sheffield. At the heart of this hilarious farce is an excoriating investigation of abuses of power by those in authority and the seemingly never ending cycle of outrage and inquiry in which we’re trapped. The form is no accident as there is something inherently farcical about the world of alternative facts, scandals and ineptitude in which we live.’

Tom Basden, Adaptor of Accidental Death of an Anarchist, added:

‘As well as being one of the funniest plays ever written, Accidental Death of an Anarchist is a searing study into police corruption and incompetence that is just as relevant and shocking today as it was when first staged over 50 years ago. As a long-time fan of his work, I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to adapt Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s masterpiece for a modern British audience, updating and altering some elements of the script which Dario was able to read and approve before he passed away. I’m also thrilled to be working with the astonishingly funny Danny Rigby once again, and can’t wait to see our fantastic cast and creative team bring the show to life at such an iconic theatre.’

Tickets for Accidental Death of an Anarchist are on sale now. Tickets can be booked through the Box Office in person, over the phone on 0114 249 6000 or at

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