Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Diary of a Madman

Actor Geoffrey Rush has made a career out of playing eccentric characters. Long before his award winning performance as Lionel Logue in The King's Speech, Captain Hector Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) or even David Helfgott in Shine (1996) there was his 1989 portrayal of Poprishchin in Diary of a Madman. Adapted from Nikolai Gogol’s short story, by David Holman with Neil Armfield and Geoffrey Rush it was first performed at Belvoir Theatre, Sydney. Late last year Rush returned to Belvoir to reprise the role. I was in the audience for this frantic romp through madness and as a former public servant, I could empathise with Rush's portrait of a Czarist Russia era government clerk going slowly mad. Rush is in Diary of a Madman at BAM, Brooklyn, New York until 12 March 2011.

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