Director’s Pitch – Barry Slack with THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR by Nikolai Gogol
(performances 26 – 30 November)
Barry Slack will talk about his ideas for the production and look practically at some scenes from the play, hopefully with plenty of laughs.
“The Government Inspector” is one of the most famous comedies in world theatre, and was adapted as a film version starring Danny Kaye in 1949 (The Inspector General). Gogol’s comedy is still highly relevant in today’s society. In a small town, corruption is rife and the Mayor and his cronies have got it made. However, when they learn in the first scene of the play that they are going to be subject to an undercover government inspection they panic. In the process, they mistake a penniless clerk staying in the town’s hotel as the government inspector and lavish him with gifts and bribes. As the play progresses, they swiftly become victims of their own stupidity and greed.
The play is a dazzling blend of preposterous characters and familiar situations. Vladimir Nabokov, the novelist and literary critic called “The Government Inspector” the greatest play in the Russian language. Past productions have included Rik Mayall and Alistair McGowan in the central role of Khelestakov.
The adaptation is a very funny version by Scottish artist and playwright John Byrne, first performed at The Almeida Theatre, Islington in December 1997.
CAST (17 – 12 males, 5 females – some roles can be doubled or played as male or female).
KHELESTAKOV, a young man from St.Petersburg
OSIP, his servant
THE MAYOR, age between 40-60
ANNA, his wife about 40-50
MARYA, his daughter about 18-20
MISHKA, his young servant
BOBCHINSKY, a town resident
DOBCHINSKY, a town resident
ABDULIN and DRESS SHOP, shopkeepers
WAITRESS, and various other shopkeepers.