Poprishchin is a disenchanted civil servant. He is single, out of money, losing his hair, and unable to secure a promotion. In the evening he vents his frustration in his diary. Entries shift from belittling reports of his superiors, to his obsession with his boss’ daughter, to a suspicion that dogs can talk. When Poprishchin reads that the King of Spain has died without an heir, he realizes his destiny and declares himself King Ferdinand VIII.
Known for his play THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR, Nikolai Gogol’s 1835 short story remains shockingly relevant and comedic. Part clown show, part social satire, part tragedy, playwright David Holman adapts THE DIARY OF A MADMAN into a masterful send up of bureaucracy and a raw account of one man’s descent into madness.
In 1994 Oscar winning actor Geoffrey Rush, director Neil Armfield, and celebrated playwright David Holman adapted Gogol’s classic tale for the Belvoir Street Theatre in Sydney, Australia. In 2013, Quintessence will take the adaptation a step further by pulling Gogol’s madman into the 21st century. Exploiting the world of social media, Quintessence will explore how technology has provided its confessional poets, diarists, and madmen with a new medium and an avid audience.
As Quintessence continues to establish a resident ensemble of actors, we are excited to announce the return of two Quintessence favorites: Daniel Fredrick (Cassio in Othello, Lelio in The Venetian Twins, Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice, Don Juan) as Poprischin and Rachel Brodeur (celebrated for her performance as Nina in Quintessence’s The Seagull) as the women. THE DIARY OF A MADMAN’s artistic team includes costume designer Jane Casanave and lighting designer John Burkland.