After the critical success of Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Northern Broadsides' resisdent director Conrad Nelson and playwright Deborah McAndrew once again team up to bring their unique brand of Northern inventiveness and humour to the stage with A Government Inspector, a Yorkshire take on Gogol's fantastical satire The Government Inspector. Created in partnership with HarroGate Theatres, the production premieres at HarroGate Theatre from tonight, 7 – 22 September before embarking on an English national tour until December 1st. Full details below.
In a small Pennine town a mysterious stranger is mistaken for a government inspector. Fearing discovery of their corrupt goings-on, the town's unscrupulous councillors attempt to ingratiate themselves. Bribes, backhanders and brown envelopes abound and the young chap, who has an eye for a quick buck, takes full advantage with hilarious results.
No one is better positioned to breathe life and vigour into this barmy story than Northern Broadsides, one of the country's finest and best-loved touring theatre companies. If you like your references topical, your heart warmed and your brass bands live, look no further than A Government Inspector. Absurdly funny, clever and strangely familiar, you'll never trust your local authority again …if you ever did that is!
Director and composer Conrad Nelson said about the play "Deborah McAndrew's contemporary English vernacular version of Gogol's classic Russian play is set in a small northern town, geographically and culturally remote from the centre of government.
"This adaptation is created to incorporate a live brass band score, evoking traditional values of honest labour and community. The warmhearted music is a moral counterpoint to the shady racketeering of the town's inhabitants - in particular the Leader of the Council, Tony Belcher.
"Gogol was aiming high when he wrote The Government Inspector. With his wonderful, grotesque characters and surreal comedy he wanted to seek out darker truths about the human spirit. McAndrew's A Government Inspector goes beyond literal translation, but is absolutely faithful to Gogol's stated intention to peel away the surface layers of ordinary people and expose the corruption beneath.
"Bringing Gogol's timeless work to the stage, this new exuberant production will integrate live brass band music with outrageous characters and rollicking comedy to create a fantastical fable for our time."
A Government Inspector's excellent cast includes Jill Cardo, Howard Chadwick, Richard Colvin (tbc), Andy Creswell, Andy Cryer, Clara Darcy, Susie Emmet, Harry Myers, AnDrew Price, Kraig Thornber and Jon Trenchard. The production is designed by Dawn Allsopp (Private Lives, Nottingham Playhouse), with lighting by Tim Skelly (We are Three Sisters, Northern Broadsides and Big Society, Red Ladder Theatre) and music by Conrad Nelson.
Northern Broadsides is a unique theatre company with a true northern voice. Its work is characterised by a high degree of theatrical inventiveness and robust performances from a large ensemble cast of multi-talented and charismatic northern actors who all perform in their natural voices. For the past 20 years, it has delighted audiences here and abroad with a growing classic repertoire that has won the company many awards and a loyal following worldwide.
A Government Inspector will open at the HarroGate Theatre on 7 September and then tour to Winchester, Cheltenham, Lancaster, Scarborough, Huddersfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Liverpool, Halifax and York. Full tour dates are below.
Northern Broadsides is a unique theatre company with a true northern voice. Its work is characterised by a high degree of theatrical inventiveness and robust performances from a large ensemble cast of multi-talented and charismatic northern actors who all perform in their natural voices. For the past 20 years, it has delighted audiences here and abroad with a growing classic repertoire that has won the company many awards.
Built just before the turn of the century, HarroGate Theatre was brought back to its original glory in 2007's huge refurbishment. Originally called The Grand Opera House (the name was changed in 1958), the last 112 years have seen many famous faces treading the HarroGate Theatre boards, including Trevor Howard, Charlie Chaplin, Sarah Bernhardt, Arnold Ridley, Kate O'Mara, Martin Shaw, Eddie Izzard and Ben Kingsley to name a few.