The Diary
of a Madman

By Nikolai Gogol
Adapted by David Holman with Neil Armfield & Geoffrey Rush
Director Neil Armfield

  • Venue Brooklyn Academy of Music
  • Dates 11 Feb – 12 March 2011

    Winner of four 2010 Sydney Theatre Awards
    Best Actress in a Supporting Role 
    (Yael Stone)
    Best Costume Design (Tess Schofield)
    Best Lighting Design (Mark Shelton)
    Best Score or Sound Design (Alan John and Paul Charlier)

    Winner of three 2011 Helpmann Awards
    Best Direction of a Play (Neil Armfield)
    Best Male Actor in a Play (Geoffrey Rush)
    Best Original Score (Alan John)

    After a total sell-out 2010 return season at Belvoir, this production sold out New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in 2011.

    Back in 1989 two young fabulists, Neil Armfield and Geoffrey Rush, spun Nikolai Gogol’s famous story into landmark piece of Australian theatre. In 2010, still fabulating, they did it again.

    St Petersburg in the time of the Czar. Poprishchin is a kind of human photocopier: he spends his days writing what’s on one page onto another page for endless thousands of pages. Towering above him is the most insane and terrifying hierarchy in human history. Down the bottom with him are millions of other clerks. In an age of ridiculous ambition and ubiquitous work, Gogol’s comic tale is a loser’s Hamlet. It burrows into our wildest fantasies and finds wonderful play in the gap between who we are and who we think we are.

    The Diary of a Madman was Neil’s parting feast of laughter, rage, sadness, loss, love, joy, hope, and the eternal possibility that we’re on the verge of something tremendous.


    Geoffrey Rush
    Yael Stone


    By Nikolai Gogol
    Adapted by David Holman with Neil Armfield and Geoffrey Rush
    Director Neil Armfield
    Music by Alan John (after Mussorgsky)
    Musicians Paul Cutlan & Erkki Veltheim
    Set Designer Catherine Martin
    Costume Designer Tess Schofield
    Lighting Designer Mark Shelton
    Sound Designer Paul Charlier
    Set Design Assistant Chris Tangney
    Stage Manager Mark Lowrey
    Assistant Stage Manager Mel Dyer

    Production images by Heidrun Lohr


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