The Government Inspector
Directed by Peter Clerke in roles aptly adapted for each performer by Will Jessop, a cast of 35 performed Gogol’s hilarious comedy and made it as relevant today in Winchester as it was when first written 200 years ago in Russia.
In a mixture of verbal humour and slapstick comedy we see the local officials panic as the arrival of the Government Inspector is announced. Why them? What have they done? Other than keep geese in the courtroom, sleep four hospital patients to a bed, extort bribes from the local merchants and flog anyone who dares so much as breathe out of turn. And why does everything smell of fish?
The Mayor takes charge; “Nobody take any more bribes.... Warden your patients will have to stop dying”....and instructs the Doctor to hide some of his patients
Once he arrives the Government Inspector has fun flirting with the Mayor's wife and daughter who look gorgeous in their wonderful costumes. He is inundated with bribes from the villagers and local officials, but still fails to find anything to eat which does not smell of fish.
The stage lighting on and behind filmy gauze screens hung across the stage gives a atmospheric changes of mood for the move from street scenes, to the inn and to a ball in the Mayor's house.
The chorus of villagers and street sweepers change the scenes by sweeping the main characters on and off stage, but in a topical moment decide to go on strike as the Mayor is stealing their benefits. They demand equal rights for all.
The Mayor's daughter becomes engaged to The Government Inspector. The Mayor anticipates having a private army, to the horror of the villagers, but is quickly undone when he discovers that the inspector was just an imposter. His summary, as Gogol intended, gave the audience time to look at themselves and laugh at their own ambitions; ‘
“This could be turned into a play where people laugh at us for being idiots. Well, really they only be laughing at themselves”.
The play ends with the main characters freezing in an extended petrified tableau. The audience responded rapturously and our own Mayor of Winchester rushed on stage to congratulate everyone and hug the errant Mayor!
To view a clip of The Government Inspector on YouTube, please click here.
‘joyously performed... great fun...beautifully choreographed’
Adaptation by Will Jessop
Design by Su Houser
Choreography by Jo Harris;
Direction by Peter Clerke
At The Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
June 21st - 25th 2011
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Blue Apple’s A Christmas Carol
Christmas Extravaganza &‘The Perils of Penelope’
Hurly Burly Show
Shiver me Timbers
Cinderella and the Wolf
Winchester HAT FAIR 2006
Jason and the Astronauts
Born to be Blue & the beginning of Blue Apple