On the 18th and 19th of October, 2019, Mallya Aditi International School’s production of ‘The Government Inspector’ played to full houses at the auditorium in the Alliance Francaise de Bangalore. A translated adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s eponymous Russian comedy, ‘The Government Inspector’ is an impious, scathing comment on bureaucracy and corruption.
Director Dr. Anne Sheela Peter and her cast of actors from Stds. 09 and 11 brought to life Governor Anton Antonovich and his band of incompetent minions, much to the delight of the audience. The audience is first introduced to a very troubled, very flustered Anton Antonovich, the governor of a fairly inconsequential little town in Russia. He is confronted with a quandary of potentially massive proportions: news that a Government Inspector is visiting, in disguise. As he is both a bully and a corrupt despot, this does not bode well for him at all. The town’s inept government officials, gossipy postmaster and the eminently memorable (and exceedingly dim) landowners, Peter Bobchinski and Peter Dobchinski, trip over themselves (often literally) in their eagerness to help solve the town’s latest ‘problem.’ Needless to say, their ill-begotten plans result only in confusion and mayhem.
The cast delivered powerful performances, which left the audience in splits. Drawing from the goodwill and energy of their well-wishers in the audience, the actors demonstrated nearly impeccable comic timing and delivered punchlines with admirable pizzazz. The opulent, carefully-crafted set and the ostentatious costumes added finesse and colour to the performance. The production used live music to great effect: moments of high drama and ridiculous romance were accompanied by popular rock ballads and other recognizable riffs.
In addition to skilled performances by the cast and crew, the success of production lay in the audience’s ability to relate to the preoccupations of the play. Once the veneer of humour and ridicule is stripped away, what remains speaks to the disturbing reality of our time: we have elected into power leaders who are as corrupt as Governor Anton Antonovich.
Months of hard work culminated in the production of ‘The Government Inspector’ and the team’s tireless dedication bore fruit: the cast and crew took their bow to cheers and applause and the audience went home with the thoroughly fulfilling experience of having watched a memorable play.
– Isha Purkayastha
Std. 12, Aditi