Blue Sky Theatre Productions

The Government Inspector was a hit

by admin

Blue Sky Theatre’s production of The Government Inspector in the Garden was a popular sell-out season once again in January.

The new adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s classic comedy set the story in 1937 on a small Greek island, where the corrupt mayor learns that an undercover inspector is coming to investigate how his town is run. The badly behaved officials decide to shower him with food, wine and a good time but eventually realise they’ve been bribing the wrong man.

The spirited portrait of a small man with a big ego generated lots of laughs from the audience, who found it hard to believe this play was written nearly two hundred years ago.  Each night, there were many groans at the story’s familiarity. Clearly, people in power have not changed much in almost two centuries!

As usual, the costumes and the cast’s performances were of a high standard, the band and the singing were entertaining, and everyone was complimentary about the show.

In general, the season was a delight – many of the shows were on balmy evenings, with the audience enjoying a picnic with a drink from the bar before watching the show as the sun went down. 

However, such is the unpredictability of South Australia’s weather these days that things weren’t so calm on several occasions.

At the new venue in Second Valley, 90km winds literally threw everything into chaos, and the team cancelled that performance for safety reasons.

Many thanks to Wendy Pember at Second Valley Farm and her team, who constructed a straw bale windbreak for the following evening.  That fixed the wind, but it didn’t deter the Corellas. Hundreds of them decided it was fun to join in, and their deafening cries certainly tried everyone’s patience. They seemed especially vocal every time someone in the story fired a gun. Who knew?

Three shows at Hans Heysen’s The Cedars in Hahndorf were popular, and the garden setting was stunning.

In the final week, Blue Sky tried to put on an additional show to compensate for the cancelled performance. The team set up at Wittunga Botanic Garden in the pouring rain and eventually had to admit defeat and cancel that show, too. 38mm fell in one day. You wouldn’t read about it.

The final weekend was a complete delight, reminding everyone that outdoor theatre in stunning gardens with fantastic weather is a beautiful experience.

The season was sold out as early as December, demonstrating the audience’s enthusiastic support for theatre in the garden each year. Blue Sky Theatre and Open Gardens SA are also grateful for Howards Wines and Matthews Hospitality’s sponsorship.

Plans are already in train for more outdoor theatre in 2025.  Let’s hope for more settled weather next time.