Sewell Barn Theatre, Constitution Hill, Norwich NR3 4BB               Box office: 01603 626414                   Sewell Barn Trust: Registered Charity No 277724

The Sewell Barn Company

Flare Path


Directors: Karl Hartland & Clare Williamson

Contact details: /

Performance dates: November 23-25, 29 November–2 December 2017 (matinée 2 December)


Called a “grotesque farce” by its author and involving physical comedy and some rousing ensemble singing, the play was inspired by a real-life event, when an anarchist being questioned about a terrorist bombing in Milan mysteriously fell to his death from the fourth-floor window of the police station where he was being held.

In this sharp political satire, a madman impostor (the Maniac) has been summoned to police headquarters to answer to charges of false identity. Whilst there, he happens to steal the file on the anarchist’s death. He then changes his identity and poses as an investigating judge (amongst other things) in order to trick the policemen into contradicting themselves and admitting that they are part of a cover-up involving the anarchist’s death. The moral is that corruption is the rule rather than the exception and we are offered two alternative endings in which a reformist lady journalist is offered the chance to save her own skin or that of the police.


Please note: There is no specific playing age range for the roles however the roles of Maniac and

all policemen need to be played with great physical energy and a sharp sense of timing.

Casting forthis play will be gender blind.

Maniac: A pivotal character, on stage throughout the play. Fast talking, wise cracking, with energetic and controlled use of physicality. He impersonates a judge, a forensics expert and a Vatican official.

Inspector Bertozzo:  Self-important and officious. Unwittingly acts as the butt of Maniac’s jokes. Only appears in first and last scenes.

Inspector Pissani: As for Bertozzo but more aggressive and a larger role.

Two constables: Played by the same actor. They are foolish bystanders, reminiscent of the bumbling, incompetent policemen of detective stories. They follow orders immediately and agree with whatever anyone says. 

Superintendent: The most senior policeman and a fascist collaborator. He reacts defensively when he thinks the Maniac is against him, but is happy to go along with whatever the Maniac says if it will get him out of trouble.

Feletti: Female journalist. Unlike the other comedic characters, the Journalist is a straight role. She is an accurate portrayal of an experienced journalist on a quest to reveal the truth.


Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays. There will be a few Sundays to accommodate full runs/tech rehearsals etc. Rehearsals will begin week of Mon 25 September. There will be a read through and character workshop shortly after casting.


Sunday 25 June 2017 at 7.30pm in the Barn

Audition pieces will be provided. There is no need to prepare anything in advance; however, we would encourage you to read the play.

If you are unable to make the audition date, please contact us to make an alternative arrangement.


Please ensure you get the edition detailed below as there are several different translations

Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo

Adapted by Gavin Richards from a translation by Gillian Hanna

Methuen Drama

ISBN: 978-0413-15610-5

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