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by Nikolai Gogol

The Government Inspector

The Government Inspector
The Government Inspector
Art Direction and Set Design Matthias Langhoff
Costume Design Catherine Rankl
Light Piero Niego
Assistant director Sophie Proust
Music "Gogol Suite" By Alfred Schnittke
Italian translation By Vittorio Franceschi From The Adapted French Version By Andre Markovitch
Cast Eros Pagni, Muriel Mayette, Emmanuelle Wion, Federico Vanni, Marco Sciaccaluga, Roberto Aiinghieri, Aldo Ottobrino, Jean-Marc Stehle, Vittorio Franceschi, Antonio Zavatteri, Jurij Ferrini, Ferruccio Soleri, Rachid Zanouda, Marco Zanutto, Trinidad Iglesias, Marco Campora, Marcello Capanna, Fahrizio Imparato, Salvatore Loddo, Fahrizio Montalto, Diego Paoli, Maurizio Taverna, Desiree Tesoro, Paola Cialdella

Matthias Langhoff was born in Zurich in 1941 to a German family in exile. In 1945 the family returned to Germany. Fr om 1961 to 1969 Langhoff worked as director and set designer at the Berliner Ensemble. His productions there include Bertolt Brecht’s "Mahagonny-Opera", "The Buying of Brass” (Der Messingkauf), "The Breadshop" (Der Brotladen); and Aeschylus' "The Seven Against Thebes". He directed numerous productions in Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, among these: Schiller's "The Robbers", Shakespeare's "Othello", Ibsen's "The Wild Duck", Heiner Mueller's "The Battle" (Die Schlacht) and "Tractor" at the Volksbuehne Berlin, Germany; Brecht’s "Brotladen" at the Theatre d’Aubervilliers, France; Ostrovsky's "The Forest" at the Schauspielhaus Zurich, Switzerland; Shakespeare’s "King Lear" at the Theatre Ro, Rotterdam, Netherlands; "L'ile du Salut" (Island of Salvation) based on Kafka’s "Penal Colony" at the Theatre de la Ville, Paris, France; Strindberg’s "Dance of Death" at the Comedie Francaise, Paris, France. From 1989 to 1991 he headed the theatre of Vidy-Lausanne (Switzerland). Productions there include Shakespeare’s "Macbeth", Webster’s "The Duchess of Amalfi", and Brendan Behan’s The Hostage”. In 1993 he was co-director of the Berliner Ensemble.

Very frequently the true moments of stage success are accompanied by complete silence which are designed to cause an explosion of emotions and surprise. This is true also for The Government Inspector' at the Teatro di Genova staged by Matthias Langhoff, who started working under Brecht and later directed his ingenious and provocative shows in many theatres, right down to the Comedie Francaise. This production of The Government Inspector’ reproduces the design and the installations of the production Langhoff produced in Paris three years ago, and which enjoyed huge success. But at the same time it follows a completely different rhythm of satirical and utterly empty vitality. Firstly, there is now a love for the perfected text of the Russian Gogol, whose presence is felt thanks to the tunes of Schnittke.And there is the tribute to Meyerhold, the great post-Revolutionary director who perished during Stalin's purges, and who directed in 1926 a production that became a masterpiece of twentieth-century theatre art. The majestic project of the set design has its origins in the Meyerhold production, but Langhoff does not modify the design of the great master, but pays tribute to constructivism instead. Owing to the complex mechanism that abounds with constantly changing twists and turns, Langhoff creates an image of a small provincial town wh ere abuse, intrigues and other disorders reign. The inimitable Eros Pagni in the role of the Mayor turns in a farcical manner to improvisation of silent cinema; Langhoff’s eclecticism connects this style to the commedia dell’arte. Therefore the casting of Ferruccio Solieri - the unforgettable Arlequino -for the part of Khlestakov's servant Osip allows the director to merge different temporal layers.
But the production also has a second level. The traitor is disclosed during the Mayor's ball which celebrates his daughter's engagement, a scene accompanied by a funeral march. The Mayor himself, addressing the spectators - who can laugh about him -, smears a cake through his own face. And here the real inspector arrives - the same Jurij Ferrini
La Repubblica

June 25, 26, 27
Theatre of the Russian Army