From Russia with a bung, Teatro right on the money!
Originally written in 1836, Nicolai Gogol’s satirical comedy has definitely stood the test of time and the cast from Teatro certainly do it justice. It is set in a provincial Russian town in the 19th century and corruption is rife. The devious mayor has been tipped off that the arrival of an incognito government official is imminent and he and his cronies conspire to cover things up as best they can, even agreeing to resort to bribery if necessary. However, they mistakenly believe that the official is staying at the local inn. The person in question is in reality a very junior civil servant as well as being a spendthrift who is unable to pay his bills. As the plot develops we meet some delicious characters all of whom act entirely in their own self-interest. None of the locals has any redeeming features but it is their selfishness, dishonesty, hypocrisy and general lack of any decent principles that make the play so funny. The timeless script makes it very difficult not to draw connections with the current political situation across both sides of the Atlantic. The production contains some very atmospheric music, simple but effective sets, authentic looking costumes and remarkably slick scene changes. It is wonderful that so many of the Theatre School’s members were able to participate in the large cast. The group appear to have an abundance of female members but having heavily whiskered women playing male characters adds greatly to the comedic value. This is only Teatro’s second ever performance and I’m sure that many of the cast have led interesting journeys to what, for some, was their first stage performance. The production was well received by an enthusiastic audience containing many of the cast’s friends and families. I’m sure that, like me, they left the theatre feeling well entertained and looking forward to Teatro’s next production.
Photo: DAVID FAWBERT PHOTOGRAPHY