The Leading Chinese Theatre in Australia

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Performance Dates: 29th September 2011 - 1st October 2011
Number of Performances: 4 shows in 3 days
Venue: Tom Mann Theatre
Capacity: 1,168
Attendance rate: 94%

- 2011 Full list of Staff  中文 | English
- 2011 In-house Brochure  View Online

The Government Inspector

The Government Inspector is the signature piece of Russian lampoonist Nikolai Gogol. The play is set in a remote town, headed by the Mayor who leads a team of corrupt officials. At the news of a Government Inspector coming to investigate, they react with terror and mistaken a son of a nobleman, who is merely passing through the town, as the “Government Inspector”. They pander to him in every possible way, desperately offering bribes, trying to be on closer terms with the young man. The play unveils the evils of various officials under the Tsarist autocracy in the early 18th century. Given its reflection on corruption, personal empowerment, vulgarity and other fundamental characteristics of government officials, the play is regarded as a milestone in the history of Russian realist drama.

In 2011, Cathay Playhouse Inc. will showcase its Chinese adaptation of this absurd comedy, The Government Inspector. We travel across time and space to modern China, setting ourselves in the historical background of the early 20th century (late-Qing/early-Republican) in a time of military conflict, social destitution and high-level corruption. By locating the story in “Goosetown”, an imaginary place in rural China, and using the unique theatre technique of blurred time and space, we hope to bring the audience unexpected surprises and provoke thoughts on our reality. It is our hope to use witty Chinese humour to freshly interpret the 17 lively characters created by Gogol, and characterise the play as “the most comprehensive tutorial on the pathology of corrupted officials in China”.

Groosetown, headed by the Mayor who leads a team of corrupt officials. The officials of this small town do not attend to proper work, but instead exploit common people. Whilst masking a humble and friendly image, in reality they plot and act recklessly according to personal interests. Although angered, the commoners can do nothing but remain silent. The arrival of the “Government Inspector” disrupts this supposed tranquillity……

The reason why Gogol’s “The Government Inspector” has always been welcomed by the audience since its premiere in Imperial Russia is its unrelenting criticism of reality. The founder of the National Theatre of Russia, Belinsky, once commented that “the upper class so detests this play because it comically reveals their ugly faces and unclean souls!” After attending the play’s premiere in 1836, the Russian Finance Minister said to the Military Secretary, “Gogol is enemy of the Russian people. He should be exiled to Siberia!” Other officials said, “This play openly vilifies the government!” Because of all these reasons, the play has captivated the general public, even more than a hundred years later. Based on the spirit of the original play, we have made a bold adaptation and integrated Chinese elements into “The Government Inspector”. At the same time, we aim to bring laughter to the audience, and we hope the play will also rouse reflections on the state of society and our humanity.

Sponsorship & Partnership

Major Sponsors
Anjuny Australia
The Property Investors Alliance

Australian Standard Immigration Services
Edu-Action Consultants
New Oriental Overseas

Sydney Australian Chinese Children's Art Theatre
Tongli Supermarket
Admiralty Antiques
Opera Australia
Sydney Props
Tom Mann Theatre
Shanghai Theatre Academy, China
The Central Academy of Drama, China
Australian Chinese International Student Club
Macquarie University Chinese Business Association
ANU Mandarin Club
University of Wollongong CSSA

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Media Supports
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Australian Chinese Daily
Daily Chinese Herald
Australian Chinese Leader
Waiwai Magazine
OBQ Weekly
The City Vision
Sydney Today
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Sydney Weekly
Sameway Magazine
Uni Media

2011 'The Government Inspector' In-house Brochure

© Cathay Playhouse Inc. 2020


27 September (THU)  07:00pm
28 September (FRI)   07:00pm
29 September (SAT)  02:30pm
29 September (SAT)  07:00pm


10 August(Fri)07:00pm
11 August(Sat)02:00pm
11 August(Sat)07:00pm
12 August(Sun)05:00pm