Written in 1970, Accidental Death of an Anarchist satirises corrupt Italian police. It was inspired by the real-life incident about a man who mysteriously fell to his death while in police custody. The piece is newly translated for the Donmar by Simon Nye, best known as the scriptwriter behind TV's Men Behaving Badly who last year adapted Moliere's Don Juan at the Sheffield Crucible for incoming Donmar artistic director Michael Grandage.
Ifans, who plays mad court jester 'Maniac', is best known as Hugh Grant's dopey flatmate Spike (pictured) in the 1999 film Notting Hill. His other screen credits include Danny Deckchair, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands, The Shipping News, Love, Honour and Obey, Rancid Aluminium, 51st State, Little Nicky and Twin Town, while amongst his previous stage appearances are Beautiful Thing (Duke of York's) and Volpone (Royal Court).
Accidental Death of an Anarchist is directed by Robert Delamere, whose recent credits include A Russian in the Woods (RSC) and Force of Change (Royal Court). No further casting or creative details have yet been confirmed.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist will be the second production under the Donmar artistic directorship of Grandage, who takes over next month from Sam Mendes. The first, a revival of Noel Coward's The Vortex - directed by Grandage himself and starring Francesca Annis - runs from 5 December 2002 to 15 February 2003.