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Six degrees

Mark Peters


Dario Fo, the Italian satirist and playwright (right) whose bestknown farce, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, will be performed at the Fringe Club from Wednesday, raised a few eyebrows in 2008, when he featured in the documentary Zero: An Investigation Into 9/11. The film alleges that the events of September 11, 2001 were orchestrated by powers within the United States itself as justification for declaring a war on terror. Fo's play The Two-Headed Anomaly was the basis for a recent stage show in which former (and perhaps future, surprisingly) Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi dies and has his brain fused to that of Vladimir Putin …

The Russian president and "alpha dog" was compared to DC comic hero Batman in the US embassy cables published by WikiLeaks in 2010. American diplomats stated that Putin-controlled Russia had become "a corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy" and that "officials, oligarchs and organised crime are bound together to create a virtual mafia state". During anti-Putin protests last year, a Moscow Orthodox church was stormed by feminist punk rock collective Pussy Riot …

The trial of three band members following their guerilla performance and subsequent arrest attracted considerable criticism in the West. Convicted of "premeditated hooliganism … motivated by religious hatred", their sentence hearing saw demonstrations by both supporters and critics of the band. Former world chess champion and political opposition leader Garry Kasparov was arrested and beaten as he tried to attend the reading of the verdict. Other vocal Pussy Riot supporters include Madonna, Sting and the diminutive Elijah Wood …

The Los Angeles-based actor, who played Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, was more recently seen sharing cannabis joints and bong hits with a man dressed as a dog in the comedy show Wilfred. Despite his on-screen toking, however, Wood insists that in real life he has "no tolerance for [pot] whatsoever". Wood was the first guest to star alongside the psychedelic dancing toy monsters in children's television programme Yo Gabba Gabba!. Appearing in a later episode was professional chef Anthony Bourdain …

In his show No Reservations, where he revels in consuming exotic ethnic dishes around the world, the chef and author declared that the unwashed warthog rectum he tasted in Namibia and the fermented shark he ate in Iceland were among "the worst meals of [his] life"; and yet he maintains the most disgusting thing he has ever eaten was a Chicken McNugget. In Portland, in the US, Bourdain shared a meal of voodoo-decorated doughnuts with "transgressive fiction" writer Chuck Palahniuk …

The American novelist suffered a personal tragedy in 1999, when his father was found shot and murdered in a burned-down garage in the mountains of Idaho. Following the conviction of the killer, Palahniuk began work on novel Lullaby, to help him cope with having had a part in the decision to sentence the guilty man to death. Palahniuk was one of the 200,000-plus petition signatories in support of fellow author Roberto Saviano, whose exposé of the Neapolitan mafia resulted in assassination threats. Another high-profile Saviano supporter was the revolutionary socialist Dario Fo.



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