Bringing Gogol to the city
An adaptation of the legendary dramatist's The Inspector General promises a fun-filled family drama in the pursuit of self-interest
In 1835, Nikolai Gogol, desperate to make his comeback in satire, wrote to Alexander Pushkin seeking inspiration in the form of an "authentically Russian" anecdote. Pushkin's reply translated into a play called The Government Inspector, better known as The Inspector General — a story set in a small Russian town whose corrupt officials have been alerted of an incognito inspector's visit where the suspect turns out to be a con man.
But imagine the same in a Mumbai context; it doesn't take theatrewallah Jeff Goldberg very long to do so. The tale is now spun around to accommodate a family of diamond merchants, the Mehtas, visited by a strange gentleman from Delhi who just might be a tax commissioner, or maybe not.
And a trail of backstabbing soon follows. It took the studio eight weeks to adapt and execute the play,. Goldberg cites the challenges a satire brings, as does the city adaptation, "Actors have this idea that if they act silly, people won't take them seriously. In comedy, you want to be that. It is always fun to adapt classics because the metaphors and allegories of that time and setting really lend themselves to Bombay."
ON September 7,8, 9, 29, and 30, 8 pm onwards
AT Jeff Goldberg Studio, Links Building, Khar West
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COST Rs 300
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Naezy: My family never supported me