Geoffrey Rush Takes a Page from The Diary of a Madman02/16/2011, Playbill
The Diary of a Madman, starring Academy and Tony Award-winning actor Geoffrey Rush, officially opens Feb. 16 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
The heralded Australian theatre company Belvoir returns to New York after premiering Exit the King on Broadway in 2009. Rush also starred in that absurdist Ionesco classic, garnering a Tony Award for his performance.
Rush reunites with Exit the King director Neil Armfield (also the co-founder of Belvoir) for the new adaptation of Nikolai Gogol's satire of 19th century bureaucracy. Diary of a Madman began previews Feb. 11 and will run through March 12.
Adapted by David Holman with Armfield and Rush, Diary of a Madman first premiered at Australia's Belvoir Street Theatre in December 2010. Australian actress Yael Stone co-stars.
Based on Gogol's short story, the play centers "on the life of a minor civil servant, Poprischin, in the repressive era of Nicholas I. Written in first-person, diary-entry format, the story follows the protagonist’s yearning for a senior official’s daughter and his elaborate delusions, among them his imagined royal status and communication between animals. Only as Poprischin descends into madness does he attain a measure of greatness. The story satirizes state bureaucracy in 1830s St. Petersburg and relates an average man’s quest for individuality in an indifferent world," according to press notes.
Designing the production are Catherine Martin (set design), Tess Schofield (costume design), Mark Shelton (lighting design), Paul Charlier (sound design) and Alan John (original music).
BAM will also host an artists talk with Armfield and Rush Feb. 20 at 6 PM in the Harvey Theater.