Dancing with Colours, Whipping with Words – Dario Fo & political theatre

Dancing with Colours, Whipping with Words – Dario Fo & political theatre

Edinburgh, 6 – 30 October 2016

We are very saddened to hear of the death of Dario Fo, and our thoughts are with his family and friends. He has inspired several generations of theatre makers and activists and we have been proud to work alongside him on Dancing with Colours, Whipping with Words in celebration of his life and work.

The world has lost a brilliant man, a superlative theatre-maker and provocateur.  Dario’s commitment to his work and his determination to challenge and satirise authority throughout his life were truly outstanding and inspirational.

Playwright, actor, comedian, singer, theatre director, stage designer, songwriter, painter and political campaigner, Dario Fo is arguably the most widely performed playwright in world theatre.  Recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature, his plays, including Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!, The Virtuous Burglar, Mistero Buffo, Trumpets & Raspberries and Accidental Death of an Anarchist, have been translated into 30 languages and performed across the world.

Dario Fo and his late wife and partner in life and work, feminist writer and actor Franca Rame, forged a new style of riotous farce and popular theatre which took as its subject the burning political and social questions of the day.  Their work influenced Scotland’s, and the UK’s, own proud tradition of popular political theatre.

Dancing with Colours, Whipping with Words celebrates Fo and Rame, along with today’s artist-activists; people who make theatre which challenges authority with satire, anger and humour.

The programme includes:

  • An exhibition of paintings, sculpture and stage and costume designs by Dario Fo, curated to give an account of his biography and an insight into the politics and philosophy which have informed his theatre work.
  • Breaking the Ice by Kieran Lynn, as part of A Play, a Pie and a Pint | Traverse Theatre, 4 – 8 October, 1pm Tickets £12.50
  • Blow Off by Julia Taudevin | Traverse Theatre Wed 12-Thu 13 October, 7.30pm Tickets £16.50/£13.50/£8.50
  • A special revival of 100 Acts of Minor Dissent by leading UK satirist and activist-artist Mark Thomas | Friday 14 October, 7.30pm, Traverse Theatre Tickets £16.50/£13.50/£8.50
  • Performances by Mario Pirovano of Fo’s monologue Francis the Holy Jester Saturday 8 October 7.30pm, Scottish Storytelling Centre Tickets £10/£8
  • A programme of talks, panel discussions and rehearsed readings.

Read the brochure


  • Professor Joseph Farrell
  • Frances Rifkin

Venue partners

  • Lyceum Theatre
  • Traverse Theatre
  • Scottish Storytelling Centre
  • Italian Cultural Institute

Supported by: Creative Scotland


Part of Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing festival