GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT. THE WORK WAS LACKING SPIRIT VITALITY CHARACTER AND SUBSTANCE. A LOT OF GIMMICKS WHICH ATTEMPTED CHEAP LAUGHS BUT NOTHING BEYOND SCRATCHING THE SURFACE AND STATING THE OBVIOUS. COSTUMES AND SETTINGS DID NOT RESPOND TO ANY PARTICULAR AESTHETIC CONCEPT. FLAT TV PERFORMANCE FROM THE PROTAGONIST.
P.S: PLEASE EXPLAIN THE USE OF THE SONG "SONO ITALIANO"(!)AS PART OF THE WEDDING CELEBRATIONS!!! - MARIE LYON
06 Jul 11
Been there. Done that. Predictable performances form an average cast. It's nothing amusing or funny and looks exactly how you expect a 'Richard Jones' to look. Left in the interval. - Cassox
28 Jun 11
This was a massive disappointment. A great and complex play totally smothered by a poor attempt at farce and generally unimpressive acting. Only the wonderful Amanda Lawrence shone through the gloom. - Kate Francis
22 Jun 11
Ubercreative director Richard Jonesí latest makeover is Gogolís 19th century farcical satire on Russian corruption, where an entire town ingratiates itself with what it believes to be a government inspector.
David Harrowerís version certainly makes it fresh, with some great dialogue which doesnít jar at all with the setting and period. Miriam Buether has re-configured the Young Vic again with a wider than wide and deeper than deep stage, though Iím not sure why they have to go to the expense of building false walls at the sides of the auditorium. Itís size and shape does, though, add to the surreal quality of the proceedings, as do Nicky Gillibrandís extraordinary costumes. Amongst the many clever coups, we have running rats, helium balloons seemingly turning up from nowhere and walking through walls. I could have done without the turd, though.
When itís motoring, itís great, but it sometimes lags - particularly in the first half Ė and some of the monologues outlive their welcome; this makes the pacing uneven and detracts from the undoubted success of the adaptation and staging. Julian Barrett is fine as the mayor, though he seems a little unsure of himself at times, which isnít entirely in keeping with the character. Doon Mackichan is excellent as the mayorís wife, helped by a series of panto dame costumes and French pretensions. Amanda Lawrence gives us another spectacular cameo as the postmaster, complete with false moustache and belly! Itís Kyle Sollerís tour de force as Khlestakov that steals the show, though, developing from a man who got lucky to an exploitive, manipulative monster.
If they tightened up the first half, this would be a cracker; though thereís much to admire and enjoy as it is and the Young Vic continues its role as an indispensable populist theatre. - Gareth James
22 Jun 11
When a comedy is also a weighty satire against cruelty and corruption, it can be difficult to strike a balance between the comedy and weightiness. Here, the balance is not struck, and the play fails to be funny. Louise Brealey and Amanda Lawrence are the only two cast members who remember that a comedy should be funny first and foremost. As the mayor's daughter, Brealey has barely any lines, yet she stalks the stage like a lascivious self-regarding beaming sexual predator, and is very funny. Amanda Lawrence's postmaster mirrors the actions of his perceived superiors in a truly crawling depiction of masterful obsequiousness. The other characters simply don't take their dangerous predicament seriously enough, nor do they emphasise their comedic flaws brazenly enough. A rare misfire from this talented director. - Steve
14 Jun 11
A shambles when I saw it - admittedly the first performance at Warwick Arts Centre, where it previewed. Julian Barrett was a real disappointment and painfully out of his depth. The ideas didn't quite gel and it was so uneven in tone I wished I was wearing my wristwatch so I would have something to stare at. Only Kyle Stoller shone and he was on crutches! and the marvellous Amanda Lawrence who managed to create a credible comic character without being two-dimensional. - William Stafford
14 Jun 11
Cartoon is about right.The play completely lacked the bite and anger of original. No problem with giving fresh slant on a classic but what an opportunity missed to bring in contemporary references.Some of the effects were good but no compensation for a lack of serious intent though the Jewish looking shopkeepers and the dropping of somebody down a hole suggested possibilities that were only touched on. Acting over the top but no fault of actors who were presumably directed to perform like this. - Gerry Blick
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