Since Thursday’s press night for Government Inspector (attended by a full complement of Booshniverse, including Noel Fielding, Rich Fulcher, Richard Ayoade, Julia Davis and Oly Ralfe), the positive reviews have been coming thick and fast! Notoriously hard-to-please theatre critics have given the play, and Julian Barratt’s performance, glowing reviews.
The Guardian gives it 4 stars, stating “its brilliance lies in the realisation that Gogol’s work consists of the collision of two forms of madness”. Likewise The Evening Standard awards a 4 star rating, saying “director Richard Jones approaches Gogol’s appealing satire in a style that’s blissfully bizarre and often thrillingly original.” Then going on to describe the play as a “vodka-drenched hallucination”.
Theatre website What On Stage gives the play a full 5 stars, describing this version as “zany, zesty” while The Arts Desk is full of hyperbolic praise, saying “Nobody now has a memory long enough to recall the celebrated Meyerhold production of 1926; but I bet you 300 roubles that if that great innovator of the theatre were alive today, he’d hail Jones as his true son and heir.” They also describe Barratt as “giving a performance flawlessly oscillating between sycophant and bully”
The Telegraph is a little less forthright in its praise of the play overall (giving it 3 stars), but says of Barratt: “Deadpan in the right sort of hollow way, he brings to the role, along with an unexpected London accent, a perfect blend of insecure loftiness and pained, shifty deference – a man afflicted by irritable bureaucrat syndrome.”
Pretty impressive stuff! To read the reviews in full, click on the names of the publications/sites.
The Young Vic has recently published production photos on its facebook page here. Why not have a gander and see what all the fuss is about?