Premiere US Premiere
Production Language English
Country of Origin Australia
Description Academy, Emmy, and Tony Award winner Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech, Exit the King, Broadway) comes spectacularly unglued as the lowly civil servant Poprischin, driven mad by bureaucracy in Nikolai Gogol's darkly comic short story The Diary of a Madman, adapted for the stage by playwright David Holman with Rush and director Neil Armfield for Australia's adventurous Belvoir (Cloudstreet, 2001 Next Wave; Exit the King, Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre).
A burnt-out paper-pusher who ekes out a meager living in czarist St. Petersburg, Poprischin spends his days doing menial tasks, anxious and teetering on the brink of lunacy. Or is it lucidity? Immobilized by a rigid social hierarchy, Poprischin cuts adrift from reality: hallucinating a canine love affair, imagining himself well above his station, and conjuring entire realms both incredible and terrifying. Deeper and deeper he sinks into delusion, and-thanks to astonishing performances of Rush and breakthrough Australian actress Yael Stone (2011 Sydney Theater Award for Best Supporting Actress in The Diary of a Madman)-we, too, are eventually subsumed by a world in which reality is, at best, relative.