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Guildford School of Acting


wg N. Gogola

przekład, adaptacja: Alistair Beaton


Premiera: 02.06.2016, Electric Theatre, Guildford





The Government Inspector at the Electric theatre was a showcase of the GSA’s fledging young actors. Deobrah Harris thinks the future of theatre is in safe hands in this 4 STAR review
The Government Inspector, written by Nikolai Gogol is a satirical comedy of errors which erodes the institutional powers of Imperial Russia’s government by poking fun at human greed and the foolishness of corrupt authority.
Gogol’s plays retain a risqué anti-establishment bite. According to legend, his first attempts were abandoned for fear of censorship and imprisonment.
A small, corrupt provincial Russian town erupts into chaos as it braces itself for an inspector’s imminent visit to the local corrupt government buildings.  With a twist in the tale and unbeknown to the townsfolk, the visit is not all that it seems – it is in fact a sham.
Khlestakov (Jake Snowdon) isn’t really a government inspector.  Empty-bellied hunger and a passion for the finer things in life (including fine wine, wealth and women) has caused Khlestakov to set up a highly-imaginative coo to masquerade as an inspector.
Sucked in by a total belief of his false identity, the townspeople curry favour with him, bowing to his every whim and request for roubles which he stashes away.   
Cool as a cucumber, he manages to bag a room at the major’s house and make demands for loans and favours. We also learn about his insatiable appetite for sexual pursuit which he satisfies by seducing the mayor’s daughter (Marya) – admirably played by the sultry Bethan Leyshon (who can’t wait to get her talons into him). With gamely boorishness and a sense of foolishness, he also manages to woo Marya’s mother onto the couch. The sexual scenes are errrm, lets just say impressive, and not for the faint-hearted.
A special mention must go to established actress, Ulrika Krisnamurti’s who gave a captivating portrayal of Anna – the social climbing mayor’s wife. Anna (who trained as a scientist in real life) has learnt the art of commanding an audience with subtle use of facial expression and comedic sexual innuendo. She really is a world class talent and who's performance lit up the stage.
Khlestakov’s role gives rise to some very astute and commanding acting, which Jake plays with bare-faced cheek and a tight-grip on his wallet. His finest moments include a scene where he’s dreaming of chicken wings and absent-mindedly chomps on a mouthful of feather’s from his cushion!  
The rhythm of heavy footsteps, drummed up with the heavy boom boom of a heartbeat becomes a prominent theme throughout the play. This effect creates an edgy atmosphere – death is the penalty if rumbled! Great work by the producer and backstage staff to mirror the themes and tension on stage so effectively. 
Choral chanting by the cast becomes the voice of the sub-conscious which morphs into a tiny voice at the back of your mind, that cleverly niggles away like worm. One is reminded of the proverb, “what a sinful web we weave, once we practice to deceive!”.    
I was also swept away by the macabre dream-like sequences and their whirling, waltzing nature which appear to spiral into black holes of deception. These scenes lulled me into a sleep-like state almost as if I was watching the action through half-closed eyes and I’d been doped!
This is an excellent evening’s entertainment, which really showcases the up and coming talent heading for our Westend, I'd thoroughly recommend a trip to The Electric to see it!

Deobrah Harris /Essential