Review of The Inspector General held at Jeff Goldberg Studio
By Manju Sampat
The Inspector General is a farcical satire, a crazy Comedy of Errors, written by Russian writer Nikolai Gogol in the late eighteenth century. It was originally called The Government Inspector. This weekend, Bandra’s Jeff Goldberg Studio’s Advanced batch of actors, presented a Bombay Adaptation of this zany comedy. The adaptation has been done by Jeff Goldberg, who has also directed this production. It takes a lot of imagination, while adapting a play, to not only place it in a different milieu and culture, but to modernise it simultaneously. Goldberg manages to do just that admirably!
This production is a twisted tale of con-artists and is about a wealthy diamond merchant family, the Mehtas. The Mehta family runs a family trust from which each of them has been embezzling funds and for which which they have indulged in many underhanded deals. So when they learn of a stranger from Delhi, a “government type” camping out in their city, Mumbai, they are convinced he is an income tax inspector who is in town to assess their trust. Actually the handsome stranger is one Kapil Mehra (Akshat Mishra), who has lost all his money gambling. He is in town with his sidekick Raj (Avi Upadhyay) who is openly gay. By a stroke of good luck, these two find themselves being wooed by the Mehtas to not incriminate them for tax evasion, as they mistakenly think Kapil is an income tax inspector.
Though the family likes to present a united front, they are anything but that. Upon hearing the news of the supposed tax inspector in Mumbai, the family descends into chaos trying to hide their crimes, but more importantly they are bent on back stabbing each other. Almost all of them end up offering Kapil hefty bribes to be let off the hook!
These young actors have done a commendable job bringing the Mehta family to life on stage. Hasit Shah as Abhimanyu Mehta was most entertaining with his exaggerated Gujarati accent, and so was Sanchita Puri as his Punjabi wife Sonali, with her perfect Punjabi accent and use of choice Punjabi swear words. However, it was Avi Upadhyay, and his antics in the role of Raj, that had the audience in splits. Akshat Mishra as Kapil Mehra and the rest of the cast lent able support to ensure that the play stays true to its spirit of satirising human greed, stupidity and political corruption.
Three more shows are scheduled on September 7th, 8th and 9th at 8pm
At Jeff Goldberg Studio, Links Building, Linking Road, Bandra.
Tickets at venue or from Bookmyshow.com