On the 10th October, we were treated to an amazing performance of ‘The Government Inspector’ by the fantastic Splendid Productions. The play, which is based on Nikolai Gogol’s 1836 play of the same name, explores themes of power and corruption in a farcical style set against the backdrop of a provincial town in Russia.
In Splendid’s version, the story was made relevant to the audience through reference to the you.gov websites seven principles of good governance as well as nods to current political news stories. The Splendid style is heavily influenced by the practitioner Bertolt Brecht, among others and therefore the performance included many features of Epic Theatre, such as multi-roling, song and dance and breaking the fourth wall. The students were particularly impressed with how the company of only three actors were onstage for the entire piece and how they used their voice and physicality to successfully communicate such a range of different characters.
At GCSE, we use Splendid Productions as the inspiration for our devising module and so it was an invaluable experience for the students to get to see them perform in our theatre. The show was followed by a Q&A session with the actors which covered everything from auditioning for the company to the rehearsal process to tips for accents and characterisation. It was great to have an insight into the development of such a challenging and interesting piece of drama. Thank you to all the students who came and to Splendid Productions for entertaining us so well.