Edinburgh Fringe: Mussolini: a one-man political farce *****

RGR Productions

Venue 41

Hill Street Theatre

5 – 30 August        TICKETS


The country is on the brink of bankruptcy and divided by a disastrous war. Parliament stinks and no-one knows what to do. Sound familiar? This is Italy in the 1920s. One man has the answer – unfortunately it’s Benito Mussolini; the devout socialist who invented Fascism.”

Ross Gurney-Randall portrays the former Fascist dictator of Italy as both a hunted and a haunted man as the Allies and partisans close in on him.

In turn he is bombastic and vainglorious when he thinks that the Italian people are unworthy of his great genius; or he is full of self doubt as he cowers from Allied aircraft. At times he comes across as an ineffective teacher of an especially rowdy class.  He recalls his early lifte, his commendation as a socialist leader by Comrade Lenin and his transformation from socialist agitator to Fascist dictator.

This powerful one-man-show gets right inside Mussolini’s head. The humour is dark but not forced as the depressed Duce recollects significant events in his life; the March on Rome, the murder of socialist leader Matteoti, his son-in-law’s treachery which led to his removal from office and his arrest and imprisonment on the orders of the King,

Gurney-Randall brings to life his mixed feelings about being rescued on Hitler’s orders, his installation as head of state of the puppet Salo republic and how his hand was forced to have his son-in-law shot for his treachery. Regrets?  He had a few as all his hopes and dreams came crashing down around him.  This fine play tells all.

Reviewed by David Kerr

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