The Government Inspector


20090126 (BBC7)
20090127 (BBC7)

A VIP visitor arrives at a village, and is soon the target of love and gossip. Julian Rhind-tutt stars in Gogol's farce.

A VIP visitor arrives at a village, and is soon the target of love and gossip.


by Nikolai Gogol

Translated by Alistair Beaton

Gogol's landmark nineteenth century satire on corruption and sleaze.

A penniless clerk is mistaken for a Government official by a corrupt town council.

Starring Toby Jones and Paul Ritter.


Khlestakov - Toby Jones


Education Director - Jeremy Swift

Anna - Frances Barber

Osip/ Gendarme - Russell Tovey

Marya - Daisy Haggard

Dobchinsky - SEAN FOLEY

Bobchinsky - Mark Heap

Shopkeeper 2 / Postmaster - Paul Rider

Widow / Magistrate's Wife - CAROLINE GUTHRIE

Locksmith's Wife / Khlopov's Wife - Janice Acquah

Abdulin / Liuliukov - Jonathan Tafler

Mishka / Constable / Shopkeeper 1 - BENJAMIN ASKEW

Waiter / Doctor (German) / Ratakovsky - Matt Addis

Superintendent / Shopkeeper 3 / Korobkin - Stephen Hogan

Magistrate - Stephen Critchlow

Health Commissioner - Malcolm Tierney

Avdotya / Korobkin's Wife - LIZZIE WATTS

Producer - Sally Avens

Gogol's play from 1836 still delights audiences today with its satirical swipes at political self-serving, sleaze and vice.

A dazzling blend of preposterous characters and all-too-real situations, Nabokov called The Government Inspector the greatest play in the Russian language.

Gogol's satire on corruption and sleaze starring Toby Jones and Paul Ritter.


Adapted by Adrian Mitchell from Nikolai Gogol's classic satire, the drama concerns the corrupt officials of a small Russian town, headed by the Governor (Roger Allam), who react with terror to the news that an incognito inspector will soon be arriving in their town to investigate them. When Khlestakov (Lenny Henry), a penniless nobody from Moscow, is mistaken for this government inspector, a tangled web of misunderstandings ensues. Gogol portrays officialdom as self-satisfied philistines occupying positions for which they are ill-suited.

Widely held to have led the realist revolution in Russian drama, Nikolai Gogol (1809 - 1852) liberated comedy from a tradition of sentimentality. The Government Inspector (1835), regarded as Gogol's masterpiece, caused such a furore when first performed that he was driven into exile.

A Catherine Bailey Production.