It's a comedy of errors as the 'inspector' calls
CORRUPTION and comic misadventure all feature in the latest production to arrive at the New Vic Theatre.
Northern Broadsides' adaptation of Gogol's The Government Inspector runs from Tuesday, November 6 until Saturday, November 10.
The theatre company's associate director Conrad Nelson and playwright Deborah McAndrew have teamed up to stage A Government Inspector – a new take on the Russian writer's biting satire.
It is being staged in partnership with Harrogate Theatre and follows a mysterious stranger who is mistaken for a government official when he arrives in a remote town. The councillors are corrupt and, fearing they will be discovered, they attempt to win over the visitor and cover up their tracks with backhanders and bribes.
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But, as actor Jon Trenchard explains, Deborah has chosen to relocate the action in a small Pennine town – rather than the Russian backwater of Gogol's original.
Jon appears as the inspector of the play's title.
It is the first time he has been involved with Northern Broadsides.
"The adaptation moves the play into a nondescript Northern town," he says. "My character is an upstart civil servant with no money who ends up staying in the town and gets mistaken for the government inspector.
"Deborah and Conrad wanted to update the play and give it a northern feel.
"But they also wanted to extend it. All of the characters are completely unlikeable. They really are horrible.
"For example my character is self-obsessed – which is fun to play – but he really doesn't care about anybody else."
Jon, who has previously performed at the New Vic in the 2008 version of Great Expectations, will be joined by Jill Cardo, Howard Chadwick and Harry Myers.
Jon continues: "In the original Gogol play, you see the corruption but you don't see how much that impacts on the honest people of the town.
"What Debbie and Conrad wanted to do is to bring out a little bit of that honesty and humanity."
A Government Inspector is at the New Vic Theatre from Tuesday, November 6 until Saturday, November 10. Call the box office on 01782 717962.