Emily Campbell is still getting used to the mustache.
The Clarence Fulton Secondary School student has been donning a rather large duster on her lip to play a Russian man in her school production of the The Government Inspector, which is about to take the stage.
Written by Russian playwright Nikolai Gogol and published in 1836, the play is a farce in the truest sense of the word.
There’s a lot of mistaken identity and yes, some of the male students get to dress like ladies and vice versa for the girls.
“The challenging part is the timing of the physical jokes. There are also lots of doors slamming,” said Campbell. “It’s over-dramatic and there’s lots of falling, along with big characters and crazy costumes.”
Based on a more modern translation of the original script, the play follows a young man who has been cut off from his family and is quite destitute until he arrives in a small corrupt Russian municipality, where he is mistaken for a government inspector and feted by the townspeople.
“This is different from some of the original versions I’ve seen,” said assistant director Alexandra Skrinnikoff, who has a small role as the locksmith’s wife in the production.
“There’s lots of over-the-head jokes that the adults should get,” added fellow student actor David Kane.
Last year, Fulton drama students had a choice to produce either The Government Inspector or Howard Korder’s farcical sci-fi play Episode 26, said teacher/director Sean Levi, adding the students decided on the latter production.
Now with more than 20 in the cast, the students have their work cut out for them, but are meeting all the challenges, said Levi.
“It’s not really me coming up with the ideas entirely. What we are doing is collectively creating,” he said.
“It’s been challenging but good to see how people are coming into their roles and how they are shaping their characters,” added Skrinnikoff.
Set in the mayor’s sitting room and house, the production, including the aforementioned four doors, have been constructed by students Matt Schiman, as technical director, and stage manager Erin Woon.
The Government Inspector takes the stage in Fulton’s small gym theatre June 9 to 11 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for students and seniors at the school office.