DIARY OF A MADMAN
by Nikolai Gogol adapted by Howard Colyer.
Brockley Jack Studio 410 Brockley Road SE4 2DH To 30 August 2014.
Runs 1hr No interval.
TICKETS: 0333 666 3366.
Review: William Russell.
A touching decline played with considerable effect.
Gogol’s celebrated short story has been turned into a show case for the solo performer and David Bromley as Poprischin, the clerk going slowly mad in the office, seizes his chances to considerable effect.
The piece has been well directed by Scott Le Crass and Colyer as usual has come up with an interesting work, although it takes some getting in to as the clerk’s delusions of grandeur increase – he ends up trouserless, crowned with royal robes apparently in Deptford, which is not quite what happens in the story but no matter. Colyer has turned to Gogol before – he dramatised his other short story, The Overcoat which was staged here in 2011and his version of Marriage also directed by Le Crass was staged in June this year also at the Jack Studio. That can be hilarious, but somehow their partnership never quite got it off the ground and it was an evening of misfiring jokes.
Here, however, things are on a safer footing and watching Poprischin’s decline is touching. Colyer has set the action in the present and an I pad plays – although it doesn’t appear to actually be switched on – a crucial role as well as some off stage recorded voices.
Poprischin: David Bromley.
Nurse (recording): Josephine Rogers.
Poprischin speaking Russian (recording): Ingo Raudkivi.
Director/Designer: Scott Le Crass.
Lighting: Cat Carter.
Sound: Bronagh Lagan.
Wigs: Heba Prieto.