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Ревизор (or Revizor in the Romanized alphabet, literally "Inspector") is a satirical play by Nikolai Gogol (1809 – 1852)[1].

Known in English-speaking world as The Government Inspector or The Inspector General.

The original text

Based upon an anecdote allegedly recounted to Gogol by Pushkin, the play is a comedy of errors, satirizing human greed, stupidity, and the extensive political corruption of Imperial Russia.

First performed on 1 May 1836 in the Alexandrinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia and first published in the same year. The play was revised for an 1842 edition.

It has been translated, adapted and performed all over the world since then.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into English many times, usually under the titles The Inspector General or The Government Inspector.

Translated into Afrikaans from the English and adapted for radio as Die inspekteurgeneraal by S.J. Pretorius and Marie van der Merwe and broadcast by the Afrikaans service of the SABC on 11 May 1962.

The play was published in Cape Town by Human & Rousseau, 1963

Performance history in South Africa

1952: Opened at the Little Theatre, Cape Town, on 13 December 1952, produced by Leonard Schach, presented by the Little Theatre Players. In the cast were Paul Malherbe, Robert Mohr, Percy Sieff, Arnold Pearce, Donald Inskip, Adolphe Grande. Decor by Cecil Pym.

1962: The Afrikaans radio version, Die Inspekteurgeneraal, broadcast by the Afrikaans radio service of the SABC on 11 May.

1966: Performed in Afrikaans as Die Inspekteur-generaal in the Bloemfontein Civic Theatre, the production being a collaboration between the Drama Department of the University of the Orange Free State and the University Theatre Movement (UTM). Directed by Jo Gevers, with a cast consisting of Jo Gevers, Annatjie Vorster and UOFS drama students.

1980: The Government Inspector in an English version by Edward O. Marsh and Jeremy Brooks was presented by CAPAB Drama at the Nico Malan Theatre, opening 2 August. Mavis Taylor directed, decor and costumes by Dicky Longhurst, lighting by John T. Baker. The cast: Keith Grenville, Roger Dwyer, Philip Boucher, Ronald France, Neville Thomas, Alan Prior, Tony Hanson, Johan Esterhuizen, Russel Savadier, Henry Goodman, Alec Bell, Diane Wilson, Liz Dick, Michelle du Toit, Mary Dreyer, Theresa Iglich, Marlene Winberg, Bryony Mortimer, Craig Dobson, Blaise Koch, Kiki Sevadjian, Simon Swindell, Neil McCarthy and Tom Holmes.

2002: Rhodes University Drama Department production of The Government Inspector adapted by Adrian Mitchell and directed by Andrew Buckland in March.

Circa 2001-3: Performed by the Stellenbosch Drama Department, directed by Ralph Lawson with Jean Bramley, Kristina Dobrović, Alicia Hloyi, Taryn Hurling, Maridi Jooste, Mariaan Muller, Teri Müller, Dominique Schoon, Elmeri van Heerden, Penny Youngleson, Khaleel Arnold, Tyrone Coetzee, Sheldon Cross, Gerhard Engelbrecht, Joseph Makka, Freidrich Smit and Chris Thompson. Stage managed by Jaques Scraverus.

2005: Produced by Lara Bye at the




Photograph of some cast members (Little Theatre 1952) held by NELM: Photographs [Collection: SIEFF, Percy]: 2013. 25. 2. 54.

Donald Inskip. 1977. Stage by Stage: The Leonard Schach Story. Cape Town: Howard Timmins: pp 43, 119.

University of the Free State. Drama Department and Theatrical Arts: Historical Overview[2]

The Government Inspector theatre programme (CAPAB 1980).

Theatre programme (Rhodes 2002) held by NELM: [Collection: Rhodes University. Drama Department]: 2008. 51. 14. 4. 1.

Copy of the typed SABC performance text of Die Inspekteurgeneraal, held in the Drama Department archive, University of Stellenbosch.

Original prompt copy by Jaques Scraverus for Ralph Lawson's production for the Stellenbosch Drama Department.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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