Donogoo by Jules Romains to be revived at Mint Theater

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

The Mint Theater have announced their next production: a revival of Jules Romains' dark comedy Donogoo, which will be newly translated and directed by Gus Kaikkonen, beginning performances on 03 Jun 2014, officially opening on 23 Jun 2014 and continuing through 27 Jul 2014.

Synopsis: 'In Donogoo, ambition and imagination collude to create fact out of fraud. Lamendin is a desperate man suffering from an existential crisis. Le Trouhadec is a professor of geography who longs for election to the Academy of Sciences. Together they unwittingly set in motion a stock market swindle of global proportions. Investors, pioneers and prospectors alike are driven to seek their fortune in Donogoo, a place that doesn't exist—or does it?'

The cast of Donogoo will feature Ross Bickell, Mitch Greenberg, George Morfogen, Jay Patterson, Paul Pontrelli, Dave Quay, Douglas Rees, James Riordan, Megan Robinson, Kraig Swartz, Scott Thomas, Brian Thomas Vaughan, and Vladimir Versailles, who between them will play 66 characters.

The creative team behind Donogoo features scenic design by Roger Hanna, costumes by Sam Fleming, lighting by Price Johnston, and sound design and original music by Jane Shaw.

Donogoo was originally published in 1920 as a novel in the form of a mock film scenario. It wasn't until the opening of the Théâtre Pigalle in Paris that re-fashioning Donogoo into a play was even deemed possible by Jules Romains. Opened in 1929, the Pigalle was billed as the most modern theatre in the world, employing the latest developments in theatrical design and backstage machinery. Though impressive, the Pigalle faced an uncertain fate in its first year of operation as it was unable to find a production suited to its mammoth technological capabilities. Finally, Romains' cinematic tale, which swings wildly from a scene atop the Moselle Bridge, to an office, to the wilds of South America, could be fashioned into a play script.

Donogoo opened in October of 1930 and was so successful it saved the Théâtre Pigalle from ruin. Le Figaro called the play "a complete triumph; filled with very amusing burlesque, an atmosphere of adventure, and written with all the skill and vitality that one expects from the author of Dr. Knock." Yet, the play remains all but unknown in the English-speaking world; it has been performed only once in this country, in 1961 at the Greenwich Mews Theatre in New York, directed by Adrian Hall. "A spoof of scientific accuracy, high finance, trade, patriotism, pioneering, and a host of momentous and minute matters," wrote the New York Times, calling the play "sharp and amusing."

- by Tom Millward

Originally published on

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