Fo Fest Listings

Oct 4 2016 | By More

Dancing with Colours, Whipping with Words

Built round a three-part exhibition of Dario Fo’s art, Dancing with Colours, Whipping with Words, the festival Dario Fo and Political Theatre explores his influence on Scottish theatre.

Besides the paintings in the Italian Institute, there are events and performances at the Traverse, Lyceum and Scottish Storytelling Centre. Here are the full listings of the event.

Mistero Buffo Il Primo Arlecchino. Dario Fo.jpeg

Mistero Buffo Il Primo Arlecchino. Dario Fo


Events are listed in chronological order

Breaking the Ice by Kieran Lynn
Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED (0131 228 1404)
Tuesday 4 – Saturday 8 October 2016
Daily: 1pm; Fri 7: also 7pm.
The Arctic is in danger and the only thing that can save it is bureaucracy. Frank Montgomery is the Scientific Advisor whose speech would tilt the scales. The only problem is he has spilt yogurt on his suit, left his speech at the breakfast buffet and been kidnapped by militant activists. Can he make it back to the podium before it’s too late?
Part of the Traverse’s A Play, A Pie and A Pint season. Details:

Exhibition Thursday 6 – Sunday 30 October 2016
Lyceum Theatre, 30b Grindlay Street, EH3 9AX
(0131 248 4848)
Thurs 6 – Sat 8 & Tue 11 – Sat 15: 11am-7.30pm; Sun 9: 11am-5pm; Thurs 20 -Sat 22: 11am-4pm.
Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43 High Street, EH1 1SR (0131 556 9579)
Mon – Sat: 10am-6pm.
Italian Cultural Institute, 82 Nicolson St, EH8 9EW (0131 668 2232)
Mon: 2-5pm; Tue-Thurs: 9am-5pm; Fri 9am-12 noon.
Although Dario Fo is arguably the most widely performed living playwright in world theatre, his work as a visual artist is less well known outside Italy. This is the first UK exhibition. Fo’s visual art shares many of the qualities of his writing – exuberance, radicalism and provocation combined with a love of storytelling and a deep awareness of history. The exhibition charts Fo’s 70 year career as theatre-maker and political activist.

I Mother rehearsed reading
Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED (0131 228 1404)
Fri 7 October 4pm
Work-in-progress performed reading with Maria Oller. Written by Morna Pearson. Directed by Caitlin Skinner
Inspired by Franca Rame’s The Mother and recent events. I, Mother takes place a few days after a local terrorist attack. The terrorist happens to be the son of Mother. Mother escapes the intrusive press camped on her doorstep by scaling her neighbour’s fence in the back garden. Her neighbour’s living room is where she takes refuge and explores her emotions as she watches the tragedy unfold on TV. Eventually she struggles to keep touch with reality.

Encounters with Fo panel discussion
Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED (0131 228 1404)
Friday 7 October: 5pm
Joe Farrell, biographer and translator of Dario Fo, and until retirement Professor of Italian at the University of Strathclyde, chairs a panel comprising Andy Arnold, artistic director of the Tron Theatre; Morag Fullerton, co-artistic director of A Play, a Pie and a Pint; writer Douglas Maxwell and Frances Rifkin, director of Implicated Theatre at the Serpentine Gallery. They will discuss their own encounters with the theatre of Dario Fo, and reflect on the impact of Fo’s work on Scottish theatre.

Mario Pirovano

Mario Pirovano

Francis the Holy Jester – Mario Pirovano
Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43 High Street, EH1 1SR (0131 556 9579)
Saturday 8 October 7.30pm
This is a rare opportunity to see Dario Fo’s monologue, performed in English by his close friend, former apprentice and leading interpreter of his work. Mario Pirovano performs with unique zest, playing cardinals, soldiers, farmers, traders, and the saint himself, in a show without props, without scenery and with the simplest of costume.

Francis The Holy Jester draws from historic texts and folk tales to bring to life medieval Italy in classic Commedia dell’arte style, both comic and moving. Pirovano’s virtuoso solo performance is for anyone who enjoys a good story lovingly crafted and expertly told with insight, vivacity and humour.

A conversation with Dario Fo (Cancelled)
The Nobel Prize winning Italian playwright on stage
Lyceum Theatre, 30b Grindlay Street, EH3 9AX (0131 248 4848)
Sunday 9 October, 5pm.
Sadly, Dario Fo is unwell and in hospital. He is unable to travel to attend this event, which has now been cancelled.
To mark his 90th birthday, Italy’s best known and most provocative satirical playwright and artist visits Edinburgh for a UK exclusive conversation event.

Dario Fo will discuss his latest book, New Tricks of the Trade, with his biographer and translator Joe Farrell. The book is an exploration of the actor’s art, told using stories from Fo’s 70 year theatrical career and illustrated with his drawings and paintings.

The Second time as Farce – Workshop with Olly Crick and Frances Rifkin
Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43 High Street, EH1 1SR (0131 556 9579)
Wednesday 12 October, 10am-4pm
“History repeats itself. The first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce.” Karl Marx
This one-off workshop is an invitation to learn, explore and then empower yourselves to create your own contemporary and relevant comic farce.

A collaboration between two experts in their fields, the workshop is suitable for all performers, theorists and activists. Frances Rifkin, who trained and worked with Augusto Boal, will lead the opening session focusing through Boal’s Image Theatre. Olly Crick, a practitioner and published author on Commedia, will lead the second section, using Masks to add definition and comic agency to the subject matter developed in the workshop and the Commedia form to embody the chosen themes into a dramatic format.
Details and booking:

Julia Taudevin in Blow Off. Pic: Niall Walker

Julia Taudevin in Blow Off. Pic: Niall Walker

Blow Off – Julia Taudevin
Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED (0131 228 1404)
Wednesday 12 – Thursday 13 October 7.30pm
“I’m not going to tell you her hair colour. Her skin colour. Whether she has an almond or a heart shaped face. All you need to know, right now, is that she is a person. Walking up a street. A street that you know.”

Explosive new guerrilla-gig-theatre with live music by Kim Moore with Susan Bear and Julie Eisenstein from Glasgow’s indie-pop duo Tuff Love. This fierce and playful feminist work explores the psychology of extremism with haunting melodies and progressive punk riffs.

Dario Fo and Political Theatre in Scotland – panel discussion
Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED (0131 228 1404)
Thursday 13 October 6pm
Olga Taxidou, Professor of Drama at the University of Edinburgh, chairs a panel comprising playwright Peter Arnott; David Greig, playwright and artistic director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre; Professor Federica Pedrialli, Head of Italian at the University of Edinburgh and Dr Linda Mackenney, Head of English at George Watson’s School and writer on Scottish popular theatre. The panel will discuss the relationships between the theatre of Dario Fo and the traditions of radical political theatre in Scotland.

100 Acts of Minor Dissent by Mark Thomas
Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED (0131 228 1404)
Friday 14 October 7.30pm
Mark Thomas is well versed in the art of creative mayhem and over the years his troublemaking has changed laws, cost companies millions and annoyed those who most deserved to be. Now he returns to Edinburgh to do what he does best, mischief – joyously bad behaviour with a purpose.

After his award winning show Bravo Figaro Mark set himself the task of committing 100 Acts of Minor Dissent in the space of a year. Mark catalogues everything from the smallest and silliest gesture to the grandest confrontations and the results are subversive, hilarious, mainly legal and occasionally inspiring.


Eleven website:

Facebook page: elevenposting

Co-curator Joe Farrell in The Guardian on Dario Fo’s 90th Birthday:

Transcript of Fo’s Nobel Lecture, December 7, 1997: “Against Jesters Who Defame and Insult


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