The Government Inspector

13 - 31 October 2009

by Nikolai Gogol
Adapted by Adrian Mitchell

There is a town. A town where vice and corruption are rife. A town where the rich get richer and the poor get flogged. Where the doctor has victims rather than patients, where the innocent are taught by the insane, and where justice is as cheap as puppies. Isolated from modern society, unburdened by morality and forgotten by the rest of the world… until now!

There is an Inspector coming. A Government Inspector, with secret orders. And he’s travelling incognito!

Ivan Khlestakov, a penniless nobody from St. Petersburg with small prospects and an over active imagination is spotted at the local inn and mistaken for the dreaded Inspector. He exploits the situation for all it’s worth and panic ensues as the bizarre inhabitants attempt to cover up the corruption that lies at the town’s core. Willing to give the visiting official whatever he wants in exchange for a good report, they become victims of their own stupidity, vanity and greed.

Premiered at the National Theatre in 1985, this is the poet and playwright Adrian Mitchell’s version of Gogol’s classic satire, which remains as timeless and relevant as ever. The Government Inspector is a dark and hilarious high paced romp, holding a mirror up to society and creating a fantastical world of grotesque caricatures and farcical situations.