Classic farce gets rock ‘n’ roll twist

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A classic farce of corruption, greed and incompetence has been lifted from its 19th century Russian roots and replanted in rock ‘n roll South Yorkshire.

Sheffield University Drama Society present The Government Inspector at the University Drama Studio next week.

Described by its director, Ed Bancroft, as “Gogol with a twist” the fast faced comedy packs a powerful socio-political punch and is interspersed with rock songs accompanied by a live band.

This classic farce by Nikolai Gogol, originally published in 1836, has resonated ever since with the same themes of small town corruption, greed and incompetence being found in Yes Minister, The Thick of it, etc.

In The Government Inspector politicians are on the fiddle, wads of money in brown envelopes exchanged for favours and incompetent officials sweeping under the carpet their mistakes and neglect away from prying eyes.

When rumours of a visiting inspector begin to circulate, the characters attempt to lie, cheat and bribe their way out of difficulty, with farcical consequences.

“Expect a funny but occasionally disturbing night at the theatre with elements of pantomime and intriguing moments of surrealism,”says director Bancroft.

The Government Inspector is at the University Drama Studio from Wednesday to Saturday.

Running this week until Saturday at the Drama Studio are Sheffield University Theatre Company with Hotel Room, a piece of original writing by student Matilda Reith who also directs.

Hotel Room, both funny and thought-provoking, looks at people’s most personal moments.

Set in an unremarkable English hotel room, it captures the conversations that we don’t want others to hear and explores a variety of characters and relationships through a series of vignettes.