‘We know all too well that we’re up to our necks in the shit, and it is for this very reason that we walk with our heads held high!’
An irrepressible fraudster known only as the Maniac is brought into Police Headquarters just as the officers are preparing for a judicial review of the recent ‘accidental’ death of a suspect in custody.
Outwitting his captors, the Maniac dupes them into performing a farcical recreation of the incident, exposing the absurd corruption and terrifying idiocy at the heart of the system.
Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s riotous satire has been widely performed around the world since its premiere in 1970. Tom Basden’s acclaimed adaptation was first performed at Sheffield Theatres in 2022, directed by Daniel Raggett, and starring Daniel Rigby as the Maniac.
The production transferred to the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre in 2023, before moving to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London’s West End.
‘An Italian classic reborn as an unmissable police satire’
‘A glorious comedy that leaps off the stage’
— The Times
‘A riotous satirical farce brought bang up to date… Tom Basden’s full-blooded adaptation [is] a furious but funny broadside against police malpractice… supremely, dazzlingly funny’
‘A glorious romp from the super-talented Tom Basden’
‘Wickedly funny… nothing less than brilliant… the audience is constantly in stitches… much cheaper than a therapy session and vastly more entertaining’
— Time Out
‘Fabulous… an unforgettable theatrical experience. Brilliantly adapted by Tom Basden, it is a biting, bang-up-to-the-minute satire… Each minute is packed with jokes, word play and punchy references… The laughs aren’t just one-a-minute – there seems to be one every second. A fantastic show’
— Reviews Hub
‘Brilliant… a whirlwind high-speed farce… Tom Basden’s bang up-to-date English version would undoubtedly have met with Signor Fo’s whole-hearted approval… wildly inventive… glorious chaos’