Corruption and comedy are timeless, that is the takeaway from watching the modern Indian adaptation of this Russian play written by Nicolay Gogol is 1836. The play was presented by NCPA and Akvarious Productions and I watched it in Jagriti Theatre
There is a rumour that a government inspector is coming to a small town in the middle of nowhere and everyone from the mayor, the school headmistress, town hospital doctor, the judge, the police chief to the postmaster is distressed. All of them have something to hide – in their work, which they are worried about, and in their private lives, about which they are assured, because they don’t expect those to be exposed by the visit of a government inspector.
Despite the initial anxiety, things start to fall in place for them. The government inspector doesn’t turn out to be as incorruptible as they had initially feared. The inspector doesn’t condemn anyone of them, and what more, even finds himself a fiancée in the mayor’s daughter. Mayor’s wife is now happily imagining her happening future in the capital, thanks to her worthy son-in-law-to- be.
But by the end, they are proved wrong on so many levels that I can’t recount it all here. What can be promised is that you laugh through it. My guess is that the play has been made even funnier by the adaptation and Mona Darling jokes thrown in to take advantage of a character named Robert. Although we can know for sure only if we read the original (translated to English!).
Ah! Did I forget to mention, this play is being enacted within the play we are watching? So, the actual play features a bunch of stage actors, who are performing this play about the government inspector’s visit. So, add the backstage goof-ups and the less than ideal dynamics of the relationships between the actors, and you get some more laughs.
A good, time-pass, entertaining play.