What fun in this 80 minutes on the revolving stage for a bit of ridiculous nuttiness from theatre’s acclaimed fruitcake – Gogol - given the rip it up and start all over with just the right amount of laugh til it hurts treatment from the deconstruction magician of plays Simon Stone, with a good bit of help from Emily Barclay and the cast; then throw in a musical treatment with over the top sequins and sparkles, feathers and diamantes and you get yet another version of The Government Inspector. Albeit a more farcical one than the original.
Is this the perfect farce, or just another attempt to rewrite and rejig a classic? Who cares. Its rollicking good fun with exceptional talent from the Malthouse and Belvoir teams with just enough localized information to make it topical and right for now, though this lot heading off to Mooseheads after the show was just a bit hard to envisage if they stayed in those glam outfits.
Remembering well the Bell Shakespeare production of a few years ago the deconstruction in this production demonstrates how new thinking and willingness to find a different direction with good old stories can work so well in the hands of talented writers, directors and actors.
And while not tossing out all the Gogol’s intent he’s certainly been dusted off, smartened up and dragged into this century. Shame he didn’t write lots more of the same. So to recommend you see the Government Inspector is not quite a recommendation for that, but it wont matter one iota by the time you get to the all singing all dancing finale. At The Playhouse until 31 May.