It is a matter for pride that the old TQ was one of the first English-language journals to include material by and about the Italian dramatist Dario Fo. Our ‘Theatre Checklist’ on Fo in 1978 provided the first full reference guide to his plays (notably to his work since 1970 with the theatre collective La Comune), and Tony Mitchell contributed a documented study of Fo's one-man show Mistero Buffo to TQ 35 in 1979. In between, Belt and Braces had established Fo's British reputation with their long-running productions of Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can't Pay, Won't Pay – while in TQ40 Fo's leading American director, R. G. Davis, looked at some of the problems of presenting Fo in the USA. Now, Trumpets and Raspberries looks set to repeat the success of its predecessors at London's Phoenix Theatre. What sustains Dario Fo's unique ability to create political comedy which is at once hard-hitting yet widely accessible? As he suggests in the first of these articles (which originally appeared in Italian as an introduction to a volume of his plays), the answer lies in part in Fo's very rejection of the label ‘political’. Here, he analyzes some of the features by which he would rather distinguish his work as popular theatre, notably its traditional dependence on situation rather than character. In the second article, published in Italian in 1978, Fo examines the way in which this kind of theatre also fuses the elements of past culture with a critical examination of the present. Tony Mitchell, who translated both pieces, has just published a study of Fo. People's Court Jester, in the Methuen Theatrefiles series.