Inspector General

Kolyada-Theatre, Yekaterinburg, Russia, 2006
Author: Nikolay Vasilievich Gogol
Directed by Nikolay Kolyada

about the production

The many-times staged The Inspector General – what are other possibilities of its interpretation? One of the most often presented plays by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol has been given a new form in a small but renowned Yekaterinburg theatre called the Kolyada -Theatre. This theatre is very original and revolutionary, and it is not only because of its founder - distinguished dramatist and director Nikolai Kolyada, who is a real theatrical genius, but also thanks to the inventive and original potential of its ensemble. The Inspector General was Kolyada´s directorial dream, the concentrate of his themes, provocative and provoking material, inspiring and inspirational breeding ground of beautiful and disgusting motifs, and last but not least, the source of a philosophical message about the Russians and the Russian nature itself. Kolyada directs like a devoted collector collecting and uncovering paradoxes. And it is not only in connecting of the non-connectable or in of formal stage plays and experiments. Therefore, The Inspector General creates an experience from the adventure – from the everlasting and perfectly functioning presence of the imperfect, from something dangerously decaying.

Of course, this The Inspector General is about Russia and the Russians. To be precise, it is about “small“ great Russia and a “little bit limited” vast Russian soul.  The message about ridiculous provinciality is universal. In one interview Kolyada said: “To where you were born, there you belong. What’s the difference in it? The provinces – it is a state of soul, not a geographic location.” The provinces of the soul, provinciality of the mind, the inner self of man, provinciality of mentality and thinking about the world. Provincial soul is not beautifully vast at all. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that the citizens of the town have funny intonation, they accent wrong syllables – and not only because they are from a tiny little town. The accent is made-up and it reminds, among other things, of aggressive intonation of today’s politicians and MPs out of whose mouths the streams of empty words flow.
Romana Maliti

Russian critics found in this production almost a “new manifesto of naturalism” - the phenomenon of dirt in The Inspector General has become an intensive topic for the critics. Yes, the pool with mud placed in the centre of the stage, in which the characters walk, where they wet their feet, hands, Wellingtons, frills of clothes and sleeves of coats, from which the mud is spilt, thrown about, smudged, is a phenomenal idea indeed. Wet, drying, dry mud changes the actors and the expressions of their faces. The fertile black earth, chernozem, as the place of birth of the new life and good crop becomes here a disgusting muck, the swallowing place of destruction, rot and decay. Prosaically taken, it is about dirty, muddy routes, but on the other hand, according to the author’s message, it is about dirty and muddy souls.  “In the end the mud is thrown at the unfortunate Bobchinsky and Dobchinsky, naked and displayed as if waiting to be shot. Generally speaking, Kolyada managed to depict originally extensive and universal picture of our homeland.”
(R. Dolzansky, the daily Kommersant).

And there is muddy Khlestakov slowly sinking into the mud. Also Gogol thinks this city nobody the most difficult character of the play, the hero who “never lies, who is not a skilful liar, who forgets his lying and almost believes what he says… For some time or even some minutes, everyone becomes or became Khlestakov…” All of the inhabitants of the town are only “bitter poor people who are more humans than this chalk-coloured cocaine addict Khlestakov. This country finds him itself – it submits to him itself, bribes him itself, offers itself to be his wife… During the first half of the production we laugh out loud, but at the end of it the lyrical and agonizing pain makes us cry.  Because we have grown and lived in this country…”
(M. Dmitrevskaya, Rosiyskaya Gazeta)



réžia / directed by Nikolai Kolyada
asistent režiséra / assistant director: Alexandra Čičkanova
light and sound: Denis Novoselov
costumes: Tatiana Česnokova
characters and cast:
Ivan Alexandrovič Chlestakov, the Official from St. Petersburg: Oleg Jagodin, Osip, his servat: Sergej Rovin, Anton Antonovič Skvoznik-Dmuchanovskij, the Governor: Sergej Fedorov, Anna Andrejevna, his wife: Svetlana Kolesova, Mária Antonova, his daughter: Vasilina Makovceva, Luka Lukič Chlopov, the inspector of schools: Sergej Tušov,  Amos Fjodorovič Ľapkin-Ťapkin, the Judge: Viktor Pocelujev, Artemij Fillipovič Zemľanika, the Superintendent of Charities: Alexander Sysojev, Ivan Kuzmič Špekin, the Postmaster: Sergej Kolesov, Piotr Ivanovič Dobčinskij: Jevgenij Čisťakov, Piotr Ivanovič Bobčinskij: Maxim Tarasov
Irina Belova, Vera Cvitkis, Vera Černova, Irina Plesňajeva


Nikolay Kolyada (1957)

Word-famous mostly as a dramatist, one of the controversial personalities of Uralian culture life. In the 1970s and 1980s he studied at Sverdlovsk Theatre School, worked in the ensemble of Sverdlovsk Academic Drama Theatre and studied at the Department of Prose of the A. M. Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow. He wrote 76 theatre plays, many of which have been played at Russian and world´s theatres, they have been translated into almost 20 languages and published in several books: Plays for Beloved Theatre, Persidian Lilac and Other Plays, Go-Go and others.

In 1992 – 1993 he took a scholarship at the Akademie Schloss Solitude Stuttgart, later worked as an actor at Deutches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. After his return he worked as an author, dramaturg and director at the Academic Drama Theatre in Yekaterinburg, he also lectures at Yekaterinburg State Institute. Texts of his pupils are successfully played at Russian theatres (the production by Vasiliy Sigarev The Plasticine directed by Kirill Serebrennik was presented at the Divadelná Nitra 2002). In 2001 he founded own theatre – the Kolyada-teatr. In the same year he produced legendary production of Romeo and Juliet at the Academic Drama Theatre in Yekaterinburg.

Kolyada´s productions were successfully played at festivals: Bonner Biennale (1994), Kolyada-plays – Yekaterinburg (1994), Gate-Biennale – London (1996) Festival d´Avignon (2000), Golden Mask – Moscow (1999, 2001, 2004).


Materials available

Script of the production: SK, EN

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