Friday March 15th to Saturday 23rd March 2013 (not Sun)
The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher
This classic Russian satire on greed, corruption and self-delusion will be Bromley Little Theatre’s 2013 entry for the Bromley Theatre Guild Full Length Play Festival.
With a cast of BLT luminaries old and young, The Government Inspector, guarantees an opportunity to laugh away the winter blues.
The play was first performed in 1836 and is a fast paced comedy about mistaken identity and bureaucratic corruption in a small town. The farcical plot reveals dark undertones as the timeless curse of selfish corruption and cronyism in public life is paraded before the audience. A Mayor and his officials are alarmed to hear rumours of the impending arrival of a government inspector travelling “incognito”. Thrown into a panic, they struggle desperately to stifle public dissatisfaction whilst deflecting the blame for their many and various misdemeanours onto each other. But who is the government inspector and where is he hiding? They begin to believe that an impecunious traveller is the man they’re seeking and he and his servant Osip suddenly find themselves being treated like royalty by the sycophantic mayor and his cronies, and sampling for free the best hospitality the small town can muster, including the feverish adoration of both the Mayor’s wife and daughter.
Gogol’s people are caricatures, drawn with the method of the caricaturist , exaggerating salient features and reducing them to general patterns, but these cartoons have a plausibility, a truthfulness, and inevitability, attained as a rule by slight but definitive strokes of unexpected reality.
Gogol’s satire translates to almost any time and place but the edition of the text we will be using is by the American playwright Jeffrey Hatcher which received great reviews when it was performed in Washington DC in September 2012. This version retains the 19th century Russian setting but the rhythms and pace of the dialogue owe more to the American snappy, wisecracking style.
Hlestakov Tom Collins
Osip (his servant) Paul Baker
Mayor Paul Ackroyd
Anna Andreyevna (his wife) Hilary Cordery
Marya (his daughter) Jessica Webb
Grusha (their maid) Karen O’Neill
Judge Robert Dilks
Headmaster Felix Catto
Hospital Director Dennis Packham
Dobchinsky and Bobchinsky Richard Stewart and Josh Lawson.
Doctor Nikki Packham
Waitress/Locksmith’s Wife Hilary Reen
Corporal’s Widow Daniella Chow
Svetsunov(the police chief) Tony Jenner
Abdullin/constable Nigel Borsberry
Chernaeyev/constable James Riley