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The Government Inspector was a hilarious and creative satire based on the 1830's script of Ukrainian-born writer Nikolai Gogol. The director, Adam Cook, of the State Theatre Company of South Australia, brought to life

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Introduction

The Government Inspector Review: On Wednesday the 13th of March, my colleagues and I went to view The Government Inspector at the Dunstan Playhouse. The excitement felt when viewing great theatre is a kind of creative nourishment. The Government Inspector was a hilarious and creative satire based on the 1830's script of Ukrainian-born writer Nikolai Gogol. The director, Adam Cook, of the State Theatre Company of South Australia, brought to life Gogol's play with brilliant acting and breathtaking sets all packaged together with a touch of modern Australianism. The plot was simplistic but ingenious. In the 1830's of Provincial Russia, where corruption took place, messengers by the names of Dobchinsky and Bobchinksy, the town gossips, falsely claim that a government inspector from St.Petersburg has come to inspect their quaint community. All of the character's, including the mayor, have their own little peccadilloes or skeletons in their closets and are afraid that this inspector may reveal their past indiscretions. This assumption sparks off a hilarious romp of dramatic irony, where the audience is well aware that the impostor government inspector, Khlestakov, is a phoney when the characters of the community are totally unaware. ...read more.

Middle

"Please tell all the high personages there, the senators and the admirals, that Piotr Ivanovich Bobchinsky lives in this town". This aptly shows the importance of the impostor, Khlestakov, who is seen as an educated person who can help enlarge the status of the townspeople. The setting of the production contains vivid, colourful and picturesque backdrops. However, the raggedy old curtains and dodgy looking footlights allow you to draw parallels while still containing the action. There is blatant theatrical fakery of the setting, where there is no masking at all. This all adds to the falsehoods that the characters are attempting to uphold. For example, when a character opened a door the entire audience just notices a void. It can be assumed that the director, Adam Cook, has attempted to create the illusion that the world does not go beyond the walls of the set. The dilapidated props and furniture are indicative of the town's affairs. The characters are clumsy and not refined in their behaviour or actions. ...read more.

Conclusion

Gogol intentionally wrote his plays to be socially realistic. Thereby, the audience was able to relate to the modernism of the songs. In the performance I particularly enjoyed three scenes which were memorable for their theatrical elements. In Khlestakov's bedroom, humour of the eyes of Bobchinsky in the painting was used to highlight the folly of intrigue. The obvious nature of the characters in the initial meeting exposes their solicitous intentions. The transparency of their behaviour is further observed in the scene where a lamp is brought down to light Khlestakov's cigar. He laps up the attention that is given by his hosts the townspeople. Finally, in the musical interlude of Marya and Anna Andreyevna, lighting is used to emphasise the musician's performance of modern songs, and in turn allows for a quick scene change. The performance was a successful premiere for the director Adam Cook and the talented actors that participated in the play. The social realism that was found to be humourous in Provincial Russia still retains its comedic nature today as it is based on human folly. The Russian proverb, "Don't blame the mirror if your mug is crooked" still holds true today. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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