The first full biography of the 1997 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature illuminates his theatre, his politics and the key working relationship at the heart of his marriage. Dario Fo, whose works include Accidental Death of An Anarchist and Mistero Buffo, is probably the most frequently performed living playwright anywhere in the world. He is married to the actress and writer Franca Rame, with whom he has collaborated for many years. This biography is written with full access to both Dario and Franca, and examines the life and work of both in a unique relationship which draws its strength from the old Italian traditions of the harlequin and commedia dell'arte and transforms them into uniquely powerful and popular instruments of contemporary political theatre. As the Nobel Prize citation said of Fo, he 'emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.' Farrell's definitive account takes us through the story of two artists whose impact has extended far beyond the stage and television to intense political activism. Much more than a straightforward theatrical biography, his book is also an account of post war Italian history and politics, violently torn between the movements of the far left and the far right. On this battlefield, where neutrality was impossible in the era of the Red Brigades and state-sponsored terrorism, the uncowed laughter of the jester in the Fo-Rame theatre was for a time the only instrument of hope and the true prospect of social justice.