Current Repertory

The Inspector General

by Nikolai Vasilievici Gogol

The Inspector General

by Nikolai Vasilievici Gogol

Translation: Mașa Dinescu
Felix Alexa
Andrada Chiriac
Light design:
Chris Jaeger
Felix Alexa
Assistant Director:
Cristina Giurgea
Assistant Scenography:
Oana Letiția Grigore
Felix Alexa
Florin Neacșu
Mircea Mitroi

Premiere: 06.10.2013

Duration: 2 h / Pause: No


70 lei

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The Inspector General is a classic text with astounding similarities to modern days, written by an author which knew the human nature so well that he gave his work a universal sense. Gogol, like Caragiale, sees a lot and feels even more. The Inspector General is a play about the striking triviality of life and the manifestations of absolute evil in the banality of everyday life.

It is a black comedy and a sharp satire of corruption, which was as ferocious in Gogol's days as it is today. This is why Felix Alexa proposes a modern vision of directing with a story set in our own times. It is both a play born out of the desperation of living in a world in times of extreme recession, and also a show of caustic humour, seen as the only means of survival. It has a strong cast, starring Marius Manole and Mihai Constantin and the characters which they portray seem to tell us: Who are you laughing at? You're laughing at yourselves!   

"As the truths become more elevated, we must that much more careful with them... Otherwise they might turn into common matters, and those are not believed anymore!"- N.V. Gogol   

The Inspector General is black comedy about our grey lives and itis probably the most contemporary show I ever did; the most direct, cynical and tragic at the same time. This is not due to the fact that I have adapted it fully into the life of the "eternal and fascinating Romania", but because the genius of Gogol erupts from every line, situation and human reaction, deeply disturbing us with its actuality. In fact, for the characters on stage, it is not a comical situation but quite the opposite. The tragedy caused by the Inspector's arrival, which seems totally out of the ordinary, pushes people to the limits of their nerves and of ridicule. Everyone tries to look out for their own good, and in this regard, human ingenuity is limitless. And when the mayor of the small city - in which the Inspector seems to arrive out of nowhere - asks us all in the end "Why are you laughing?" he gives us the devastating answer himself: "You're laughing at yourselves!". And then we feel a cold chill down our spines, proof that Gogol's fantastic genius vision still has effect, even today. - Felix Alexa

Translated by: Țoncu Mihai

MTTLC, The University of Bucharest




Ivan Hlestakov: Marius Manole Anton Skvoznik-Dmuhanovski: Mihai Constantin
Anna Andreevna: Ana Ciontea Maria Antonovna: Ilinca Manolache
Ada Galeș
Zemlianika: Irina Movilă
Costina Cheyrouze
Piotr Bobcinski: Claudiu Bleonţ
Piotr Dobcinski: Mihai Calotă Osip: Istvan Teglas
Ammos Liapkin-Tiapkin: Marcelo-S Cobzariu Luka Hlopov: Armand Calotă
Ivan Șpekin: Eduard Adam The singer: Lorena Luchian
The Singer: Oana Pușcatu The Priest: Ovidiu Cuncea
Hristian Gibner: Axel Moustache Bodyguard 1: Răzvan Popa
Bodyguard 2: Cosmin Dominte Wives officials: Natalia Călin
Iuliana Moise
Carmen Ungureanu
The voice: Mircea Albulescu City ​​dwellers: Laurențiu Andronescu
Florin Dobre
Adrian Dache
Emil Gabriel Marinescu
Gabriel Ciolan
Gabriel Sandu
Niță Coloji
Gabriel Figheroaea
Petre Măciucă
Alexandru Popescu
Cătalin Andrei
Ștefan Spiridon
Constantin Simon

"We are witnessing an atrocious and hilarious show that stigmatizes our confused and consumerist times, in which one does not live and everything is being negotiated (...) The vivisection of the "lie syndrome" has grotesque and fantastic dimensions. The Gogolian text, in the version of Felix Alexa and the translation of the Maşa Dinescu - dynamic, vivid, remarkable through literary and theatrical virtues - becomes a libretto for word, movement, singing, dancing, music. (...) These operations of updating Gogol's instructions are radical. They make up a heavy Kafkaesque theatre setting, populated by costume figures with symbols from the immediate daily life. In the creation of this expressive, hallucinating framework, Felix Alexa had in the young stage designer Andrada Chiriac a catalyst. (…) This polyphonic staging remarkably valorizes the troupe of actors, starters, consecrated actors and young ones, forming a harmonious team. The "Government Inspector" is a recital-show for Marius Manole - Hlestakov and Mihai Constantin - Mayor, two powerful images of the exorcism of the demon of the lie. Two actors who magnetize the stage, their artistic performance propelling them into the range of the great performers of these roles. (...) Felix Alexa is coral and explosive in the "Government Inspector". (...) The "Government Inspector" from the National Theatre - built in paroxysmal tones - impresses through the accuracy of details, the pencil highlights in the human characters’ study ... The "Government Inspector" is announced as a peak moment of the season, an anthological show we recommend you."

Ludmila Patlanjoglu, Cotidianul - Premiere-event at NTB  

"A typhoon of the, let us say sympathetic, lying of Hlestakov - a moment of great acting performance that appeared naturally on the ensemble of performance from the ensemble of the role created by Marius Manole, whose Hlestakov is not just a fancy, flute-like young man dressed in fashion that, after a moment of confusion, understands what happens and gets, doubled, stimulated, and finally tempered by Osip (Istvan Teglas) the greatest profit of deceit. But especially a typhoon of dangerous, threatening lie to an entire community, to society, to the world, the kind of lie and self-deception whose expert is proven by the Mayor, a role in which Mihai Constantin signs a monumental creation, one of the major roles of his creative maturity."

Mircea Morariu, Adevarul – The Government Inspector, popular and extremely contemporary   

"A complex show at all levels - a cast of over twenty actors, an intricate, varied, almost luxuriant scenography, courtesy of Andrada Chiriac, a light design by Chris Jaeger, complex, and a "heavy" musical score, chosen counterpoint (...) Marius Manole finely marks the gradual passage from the loser to the "prince" who came across a treasure and the people fall to his feet (... ) If Marius Manole has to go through a varied register of states and emotions, Mihai Constantin maintains an equal pace in the role of the mayor, with a thundering voice and an imposing attitude, which proves the more ridiculous when the whole farce is thwarted."

Silvia Dumitrache, Observator Cultural – The Government Inspector, a Gogol for 2013 at NTB  

"From the first to the last retort, from the first to the last scene, the NTB show juggles with images and lines well placed in the context, well stressed, well emphasized, so that the social dimension of Gogol's play overlaps almost perfectly with contemporary reality. In fact, this is the stakes of directing. Turning the staging into a cry of revolt, pointing the finger at corruption, showing in the mirror the world we live in (...) Emphasizing an emploi which currently allows him to cleverly juggle with these two worlds–the contemporary one, in which the director places the text, and the one of Gogol with the absurd, its depths and sadness -, Mihai Constantin builds a forceful role, which he leaves to unleash on stage, joined by a special form (still a personal fingerprint) of nuancing any gesture that seems raw. (...) The show is vivid, powerful, fresh and indeed, filled with humour. And the great bet is, of course, the performance of Marius Manole in the role of Hlestakov. It is subtle, nuanced, it is also forceful and humorous... He is the farceur of our days, who lies without blinking, lies as he breathes, at the border with dementia, at the border with the absurd. (...) The lie becomes his second nature and he lives in it truthfully...".

Monica Andronescu, Yorick – What are you laughing at? You are laughing at yourselves! 

„Beyond doubt, Felix Alexa has won the bet, that of having Manole in this role, thus the two marking the tenth show worked together. (...) This enactment, which certainly required from the director a greater or smaller dose of risk, has been depicted to us, the ones in the audience, in a clean, delicate shape, in an intelligent artistic form. But which seemingly obliges us to respond why we are laughing at stupidity!

Maria Sarbu, JurnalulNațional - "The Government Inspector" is at NTB  

„A show with "The Government Inspector" by N.V. Gogol becomes a theatrical event, also on the first stage of the country, which thus inaugurates a new hall; (...) The "version for the stage" of Gogol’s play, thanks to director Felix Alexa in order to update the writing, shall have the effect of a great success for the Great Audience through the spectacular image of scenically representing a contemporary and hollow world. Remarkable is the generalist adaptation of the play to the topicality of our days, accomplished by Felix Alexa, without forcing theatrical references to well-known characters from the tv journals. (...) Mihai Constantin sensationally amplifies, with attention to nuance and honest inner experience, the peril of the bribe-taking mayor. The actor builds his character ...dramatically, with an irresistible comic result. (...) Mihai Constantin achieves, as one says, a creation in this difficult role. "The Government Inspector" remains a show which shall conquer the Great Audience appalled by the offers of daily reality... ".

Ileana Lucaciu, Spectator – The spectacular image of a hollow world  

„Marius Manole (the Government Inspector) and Mihai Constantin (the Mayor) equally share the scenic weight and importance. The show equally belongs to the Mayor and to Hlestakov. Manole’s Government Inspector is playful, a trickster, slippery, profiteer, a clever poor guy who knows that the coat makes the man. Marius Manole builds a character with frightening amplitude, perfectly pedals on dissimulation, communication with double meaning, like a Mephisto on holiday, he exploits in a relaxed way the credulity and fear of the ones facing him. Together with Istvan Teglas, he forms a dynamic and expressive couple, with a slight touch of romanticism. Mihai Constantin covers a wide spectrum of nuances, the result being a succulent character, consistent, comic, but also with powerful dramatic highlights. A perfectly capitalized artistic force. (...) Other two incontestable achievements of the show are the light design signed by Chris Jaeger and scenographer Andrada Chiriac.

The National Theatre deserves congratulations. Under the difficult building site conditions (and we know what this means anywhere, but especially in Romania), the National Theatre team has achieved a notable performance. It has brought to the audience a unitary enactment, coherent, troublingly topical. A success. I believe it is the first „Government Inspector" seeing the limelight in full reconstruction site and on top of it, launches a hall as well".

Razvana Nita, – Working visit to fileland   

„The premiere of the show "The Government Inspector" marks the inauguration of a new (and old) hall of the "I.L. Caragiale" National Theatre of Bucharest. The splendid Studio Hall has been the best premises of the National, but it did not get to function for very long. Ceausescu offered it to the Musical Theatre, which had just remained without headquarters. Managers after managers have tried to recuperate it, and the one who, finally, succeeded is the current director general, Ion Caramitru. To whose name the history of the institution shall be linked and the transformation of Ceausescu’s colossus into a privileged territory of spiritual polyvalence.

Felix Alexa (also author of the version for the stage, after the translation by Masa Dinescu) brings the story up-to-date, offering to us a hellish tableau which we know very well. Vile, but joyful. And, only sparsely, frightened. (...) the one conferring a profound original note to this show is Felix Alexa’s idea of building a double character with the aid of two actors with a solid choreographic experience, Marius Manole and Istvan Teglas. With their aid (but also of the other actors from the cast), the director’s bet on the bodily expression is a complete triumph".

Gabriela Hurezean, Muses and Arms - NTB: "The Government Inspector", the downsand the glass wool   

„We are faced with a bold and invigorating version, where theatre allies itself triumphantly with dance and music, in order to serve a surprise-cocktail to the audience, with the most savoury ingredients. (...) Mihai Constantin is a volcano boiling permanently and pouring his burning retorts over everyone else. His performance has an impressive force, seemingly guiding the entire show. His nerve is only equalled by the „tempest Marius Manole", who envelops the entire stage, engaging his opponents into a vertigo of words, movement and dance. (...) The actor and dancer Istvan Teglas makes his appearance in force, from a washing machine. His movements– almost a ballet animating the surrounding objects – are a hilarious extension of the character Hlestakov. As the farce advances, the two seem to form a single body, suggesting a psychological symbiosis master-servant. (...) „The Studio Hall is open to any experiment imagined by any director and any theatre", confesses Ion Caramitru, happy that one of the most prominent halls of NTB was revived in the light of the Government Inspector. And lo, the experiment succeeded and expects you to continue discovering it with the same joy as I did".

Teodora Gheorghe, Metropolis Newspaper – The Government Inspector. Gogol Reborn at NTB  

"Which is the intimate spring pushing Felix Alexa, the author of the show on the stage of the Bucharest National Theatre, to get rid of any complex and linger onto Gogol’s play? Fury. Impotence, the refusal to adapt „adapt" to a world, where he not only does not recognize himself, but he also considers it hostile, contrary to any common sense, which, like him, aspired to a basic normality. (...)

The Marius Manole version in the role of the Government Inspector was implicit: Alexa –Manole is already a tandem who won too many „battles" together, for someone to have imagined a further option, beyond the fact that naturally the actor has all the data to credit him with a creation. He succeeds and reconfirms himself as one of the most gifted people, devoted to the stage and the acting profession. (...)

The one who placed the highlights as he wanted, meaning against traditional enactments, was Felix Alexa and he did well. Both for the generalizing force of the show, and for the weight he placed on the Mayor’s shoulders, respectively of Mihai Constantin. I have seen him in many shows so far; there were evening when I closed my eyes and listened with the joy of illusion that I hear the unique George Constantin; I have considered him a serious actor, capable of roles honoured with the whole talent. I did not picture him of the splendid magnitudewhich he proves in the Mayor’s role. I do not believe that there are many Romanian actors, from all generations, having nowadays the capacity of a range of vocal inflections so broad and so expressive as Mihai Constantin, totally inherited from his illustrious parent. But Constantin’s performance is not only limited to this. The character he builds has the ability of illustrating in the most suggestive way the plethora of tones, nuances, facets which articulate the specimen they give life to".

Radu F. Alexandru, Revista 22 – An everyday Shakespeare in a super reality-show   


Translated by Simona Nichiteanu  

Selected within the National Theatre Festival–24th edition, October 2014


Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 

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