• Event Type / Theatre
  • When / 28 Feb - 23 Mar
  • Where / Merlyn Theatre

The Government Inspector

// proves you can fake it ’til you make it


  • Event Type / Theatre
  • When / 28 Feb - 23 Mar
  • Where / Merlyn Theatre

The Government Inspector / was never meant to happen. Our season opener, The Philadelphia Story, was set to be the theatrical hit of the summer, with its star-studded cast and hot young director. Until the rights suddenly fell through. Enter The Government Inspector – though not the play you might be expecting.

Based loosely on the Nikolai Gogol play of the same name, this new amalgam goes something like this: Just weeks out from opening night, an ensemble of actors is presented with the script for a play they were never supposed to perform. To save the day, a star director is shipped in from St Petersburg. But is he really who he seems? The media throng sniffing around the production since they got a whiff of the whole calamity is sure to uncover the truth.

A chaotic comedy of errors that deconstructs Gogol’s original, The Government Inspector will have you questioning where reality ends and theatricality begins. In the hands of a stellar cast and the ever-inventive Simon Stone, this postmodern mash-up will be a laugh-out-loud game of pretend.

Like Gogol’s imposter protagonist, this production / proves you can fake it ’til you make it.

★★★★½ Stone's The Government Inspector is not, in fact, The Government Inspector. It's an impostor, but one of such comic genius you'll want it to con and seduce you. A thoroughly entertaining comedy.

— The Age

★★★★ A scrupulously polished backstage farce ... deliriously funny ... Simon Stone has always been a showman. And here he has let his inner showman out to play, sequined jacket and all.

— The Guardian

★★★★ [a] hoot from go to whoa ... It’s a riot.

— Herald Sun

★★★★ A brilliant comedy ... If the best comedy comes from human struggle, Stone and Barclay’s The Government Inspector is, at its most basic, about Australian theatre’s struggle to be profound, powerful and substantial.

— Daily Review

By / Simon Stone with Emily Barclay; devised with the cast
Featuring / a short musical by Stefan Gregory
Inspired by / Nikolai Gogol
Set Design / Ralph Myers
Lighting Design / Paul Jackson

Sound Design & Composition / Stefan Gregory
Choreography / Lucy Guerin
Costume Design / Mel Page
Cast / Fayssal Bazzi, Mitchell Butel, Gareth Davies, Robert Menzies, Zahra Newman, Eryn-Jean Norvill, Greg Stone

Production partners and supporters

A co-production with Belvoir Proudly.

Key image photography / Andrew Curtis