A new take on a celebrated “Madman”

Ilia-Volok-Diary-of-a-Madman-Promo-Photo-3DIARY OF A MAD MAN 

Written By: Nikolai Gogol  

Theater: American Theater of Actors  

Address: 314 West 54 ST. NY, NY 10019 

Dates of Show: July 20, 21, 22 

Review by: Nusrat Hossain  

“Diary of a Madman” centers on the life of Poprishin, a low-ranking civil servant who yearns to be noticed by a beautiful woman. This beautiful woman happens to be none other than the daughter of a senior official with whom he has supposedly fallen in love with. His diary records his gradual slide into insanity. The story portrays the average man’s quest for individuality in a seemingly indifferent, urban city”

“Well then, that was definitely something” was my exact words after watching “Diary of A Madman” This play was certainly different from most of the plays I have watched thus far. The script truly goes above and beyond to show how much we may not know about a person. We may see a person every day and never even truly recognize – or comprehend – who they truly are down-deep or what they have become becasue of forces around them – or within them.    

Whether it was the director’s intention or not, “Diary of a Madman” shows how isolated a person can become and how real mental illness is. This short work is a powerful parable about the tragedy of unchecked mental illness.

Poprishin was slowly loosing touch with reality – and no one cared. This is sadly the reality of our world today. We do not give enough attention to mental illness and things like school shootings occur. The script and main idea of the play really moved the audience. Throughout the entire time everyone was so absorbed by the play.   

This was an excellent play that I would recommend watching. The historical content seemed to attract an older demographic, which is a shame as this is a play for all to see and learn-from.

Diary of a Madman has been running across the country and recently, the world, playing to stand-room and standing ovations.  Look for this mesmerizing production in your town! 

  • AUTHOR: Nikolai Gogol (1809 – 1852) 
  • STAR/CREATOR: Ilia Volok 
  • DIRECTOR: Eugene Lazarev   
  • Lighting Design – Ken Coughlin 
  • Sound Design – David Marling  
  • Costume Design – Knarik Balayan  
  • Text Editing – David Laird Scott  
  • Stage Manager – Fanny Guillot  





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