Dario Fo, The highest jester

 

Actor-playwright, comedian, teatre director, stage designer, painter and political campaigner, a well-rounded theater man, Dario Fo has had, without any doubt, the credit for revolutionizing with skill and elegance, the Italian art world, together with his wife and theater actress Franca Rame. A successful and extraordinary life, that of Darius, the son of a railroad worker and a peasant girl, who took his first steps in the art world after leaving his little village of Lake Maggiore.

Always a different life, one inside the other, as reflected in a game of mirrors capable of multiplying the time and the stories. Since the years at Brera Academy in Milan, so rich in cultural stimuli, the ugly months in the uniform of the Republic of Salò “for not finishing deported to Germany”. By the radio texts of Poer nano to the debut with the actors Franco Parenti and Giustino Durano at the Piccolo Teatro with Il dito nell’occhio (A Finger in the Eye), a social and political satire show, until the unique cinematic experience, with Carlo Lizzani, in the film Lo svitato (The Screwball).

But was the encounter with Franca Rame, companion forever, to mark his life. Love at first sight, bourgeois marriage, a firm union in and out scene. With her were born the plays "Gli Arcangeli non giocano a flipper" (Archangels Don’t Play Pinball), "Chi ruba un piede è fortunato in amore" (He Who Steals a Foot is Lucky in Love), "La signora è da buttare" (Dump the Lady).

Then, in 1969, the great success Mistero Buffo (Comical Mystery), his most famous play, where Fo resumes in its own way the lesson of storytellers, telling stories of the Bible and the Gospels, of conceited popes and witty villains. In the seventies he composed a series of stinging satire characterized by the use of grammelot, a crazy assembly of different spoken sounds, a linguistic nonsense.

A narrative invention which, together with the impressive corpus dramatic, almost a hundred plays, earned him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1997.

"Create wonder means to arouse the charm in the people who look at you. And by the emotional involvement a lot of things are transferred to the public, this is the reason why acting is the most extraordinary job in the world". With these words, Dario Fo had described his role as an artist when, for his 90 years, had been interviewed by the Italian daily newspaper “Il Fatto Quotidiano”. Dario Fo was a nonconformist, free and anticlerical man and his plays were always imbued with a strong criticism of institutions and common morality. His constant opposition to any form of power has made him not only a thorny artist, but the antithesis of organic intellectuals.

As important as the critical component of his satire was the ability to build and to stage perfect machines for laughs, on the model of farces and vaudeville (comedies) and with references to the popular trend of the jokes of the Comedy of Art, the circus gags and the silent film. After the death of his wife Franca in 2013, Dario goes on alone with desperate fury and renewed vitality. He writes one book after another, he continues to go on stage and to paint with the energy and the joy of a boy brightly colored paintings exhibited in Italy and abroad. Until today, 13 October 2016.

Dario Fo died at the age of 90 years and seven months, the day on which, mockery of fate, will be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 2016.