AUDITION NOTICE: The Government Inspector

WT is committed to being a diverse and open organisation. Auditions are open to anyone, regardless of background or experience, and we particularly welcome those who have been traditionally under-represented in theatre.


A long time ago (!), when I was still part of Wokingham Youth Theatre, I was lucky enough to play the Mayor in a production of The Government Inspector at WT, and I’ve loved the play ever since. That’s why I’m incredibly excited to be directing our new production, 10+ years on, in December 2021!

Synopsis: Arguably one of the most famous comedies in world theatre, Gogol’s masterpiece depicts a small Russian town, rife with corruption. When the powers that be learn they’re going to be subject to an undercover government inspection, panic ensues. Mistaking a penniless nobody for the powerful official, they swiftly fall victims to their own stupidity and greed. The characters are all larger-than-life caricatures, brilliantly written, slightly absurd, and above all, a lot of fun.

Casting: I’m planning to cast most of the show totally ‘blind’ – meaning that most of the parts could be played by any actor. I’m hoping the show is going to be a real ensemble piece, with a core of 13 or so ‘main characters’, as well as a chorus of 5 additional actors playing upwards of 20 other parts! There are a few parts which, in the interests of plot, will need to be male / female and certain ages (husbands and wives who have children, for example), but other than that, it’s an open call!

As for the auditions, a couple of parts will have some monologues / duologues, but I’m intending to have a very relaxed couple of sessions whereby everyone present works on some scenes together. I’m planning on doing a read through when (hopefully) the restrictions are lifted at the end of July in person at WT with auditions soon after.

Character Breakdowns:

  • The Mayor (M – 30-60) – The kingpin of the village. A larger-than-life, selfish, loud, angry man. Very melodramatic, very flamboyant – a great comic part.
  • Anna (the Mayor’s Wife) (F – 30-60) – A seductress – a woman with no regard for anything other than her own station in life, even at the expense of her own daughter. Sly, sarcastic, a bit of a bitch!
  • Marya (the Mayor’s Daughter) (18-30) – The thorn in her mother’s side – a little naive, a bit of a country girl – age will depend on the casting of her parents.
  • The Magistrate (M/F – Any Age) – Quite an eccentric, sometimes a bit of a bore, a character who keeps geese in the courtroom with not much care for the law or justice – doesn’t always know what’s going on around them!
  • Health Commissioner (M/F – Any Age) – A pompous character who belives the best medecine is to let nature run its course. Quite self-assured, a bit of a snake.
  • Director for Education (M/F – Any Age) – Long-suffering, terribly ill-suited to their profession. Nervous, and awkward in the extreme under pressure.
  • The Postmaster (M/F – Any Age) – Possibly the most openly corrupt – and one of the more intelligent characters. Dry-witted, very clued in to everything that’s going on, takes pleasure in the misfortune of others.
  • Bobchinsky & Dobchinsky (M/F – Any Age) – A great double act – whilst traditionally both actors would be similar in appearance, a contrasting pair could work well, so long as there’s the same energy. These two constantly bicker, are very high-energy, and also have some physical comedy / slapstick elements to enjoy, too.
  • Dr Hübner (M/F – Any Age) – One of the oddest parts in the whole play – a little bit bumbling and totally unaware, mostly on account of only being able to speak German! Preferably someone familiar with the language, if not a confident speaker. The translations are available if there’s someone who speaks a different langauge that could help us translate the part.
  • Khlestakov (M – 20+) – Possibly one of the most demanding parts in the play – a young rake, a penniless fop, prone to womanising, gambling, and throwing tantrums. Outrageously spoilt.
  • Osip (M/F – Any Age) – The long-suffering servant of Khlesatkov, his constant-companion and possible the closest thing he has to a conscience. Has some comic monologues and direct audience addresses, too.
  • The Superintendent (M/F – 20-50) – Tall, brutish, responsible for most of the police brutality in the town. Preferably quite physically imposing.
  • As well as the parts detailed above, we will also be casting an ensemble of 4 multi-role actors to play the majority of the remaining parts! With so many characters, we need a core of versatile performers to take on the roles of the villagers, dignitaries, wives, shopkeepers, and police. These are all speaking parts, all comic parts, and a chance to have a some real fun!
  • We’ll also be looking for 4 walk-on cameos, for anybody looking to get on the WT stage and have some fun. They’ll only be required to arrive at the interval and will only be in one scene, but they each have their own lines and won’t be required at rehearsals until mid-November.

Readthrough: Tuesday 27th July – 19:45 at WT
Auditions: Thursday 29th July – 19:45 & Sunday 1st August – 16:00 at WT
Performances: 8 – 18 December 2021 (10 Nights)

 If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to get in touch: thomasj@wokinghamtheatre.org.uk and I hope to see plenty of people for our read through and auditions!

Thomas Joy
Director