The Government Inspector

Why does everything smell of fish?

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In a remote village, in a remote district, in a remote corner of Russia, The Mayor and his officials receive some disquieting news. No – not some disquieting news… the most disquieting news imaginable. (At least, to them). They are to be visited by a Government Inspector!

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? There could be trouble ahead!

Blue Apple Theatre present their unique take on Nikolai Gogol’s classic farce of corruption, mistaken identity and naked ambition. In a fresh, new adaptation, The Government Inspector remains as stunningly relevant today as it was when first performed nearly 200 years ago.

We are about to recieve an inspector

In a world where the fear of being overseen is seemingly ever present – where ‘regulators’, ‘invigilators’, ‘assessors’ and ‘inspectors’ abound – these words have the power to strike fear into any one of us.

Perhaps it’s about the email that was ignored, or the phone call that wasn’t returned. The assessments / evaluations / outcomes / outputs that we agreed to, but never accomplished. Which of these, now, will come back to haunt us?

For the officials of a small town on the edge of Russia – somewhere in the middle of the 19th century – their concerns are really no different to those of our contemporaries. But, perhaps, they are more incompetent, more corrupt, more power-crazed, more liable to taking bribes, fiddling their expenses and generally manipulating power for their own self-gain? Perhaps…

The enduring power of Gogol’s text is that human nature hasn’t really changed. After 200 years, his characters remain infinitely recognisable. The Mayor and his cronies still rule the roost. Opportunists, like Khlestakov and Osip, can still thrive by living by their wits. (They may be equally tainted – but, at least, they are the underdogs)!

For Blue Apple, it has been a fantastic journey to take Gogol’s original text and – through Will Jessop’s excellent care – adapt it for the company.

It is a farce of nonsense. Of the nonsense of those who seek to tell us ‘how things should be’.
There are many people who are marginalised by the personalities, and policies, of today’s politics. This is a story, ultimately, of justice.

For, when all is said and done, why does everything smell of fish?

Peter Clerke
Artistic Director

Cast & Crew

Mayor - Tommy Jessop
Judge James - Elsworthy
Warden - Sam Lobb
Doctor - Daniel Austin
Head Master - Jo Harris
Postmaster - Anna Brisbane
Bobchinsky - James Benfield
Dobchinsky - Nathan Bendell
Wife - Katie Francis
Daughter - Ros Davies
Mishka - Amy Britt
Khlestakov - James Smith
Osip - Lawrie Morris
Prokhorov - Simon Harvey
Policeman - Terry Thompson
Chief Sweep - Lucy Parrott
Rogue Sweep - Elena Moody
Waiter - Neil White
Sergeant’s Widow - Jess Falconer
Smith’s Wife - Jossy Kirby
Shopkeeper - Jason Kidd
Shopkeeper’s Wife - Emma Rabjohn
Mr. Curtains - Ryan Nicholas
The Lovers # 1 - Andrew Malster
The Lovers # 2 - Alice Peck
No broom sweep - Rachel Osborne
Frantic sweep - Michelle Pluck
Invisible sweep - Alf Flitney

Direction - Peter Clerke
Script - Will Jessop (with respect to Nikolai Gogol)
Design - Su Houser
Choreography - Jo Harris
LX Design - Mark Dymock
Technical Manager - Ben Ward
Costume - Maryanna Rann
Music Finder - Louise Sarton
Graphic Design - Richard Williams



Tuesday June 21st - Saturday 25th June 2011
The Tower Arts Centre, Winchester