The Diary of a Madman is a classic of Russian literature, and in common with many classics, it still has relevance despite its age. in 2009 Tim Lenkiewicz secured an Arts Council R&D grant to explore his ideas for a multimedia acrobatic adaptation of Gogol’s classic story.



We looked at the use of acrobatics in the context of the narrative and also, at different ways of using animation, video feeds and voice-over to develop an internal-external world of madness and desperation. It also explored different ways of using the structure of the piece to affect how the audience understood the protagonist’s journey through the story.


The work was very successful and resulted in two in-progress showings and Cirquit Productions are now considering the development of this piece in the future.

Audience Feedback:

That was excellent, I’m going to buy the book!- Jasha Hill-Smith
I thought the physical work was very strong and the animation was awesome (especially the birds)- Oliver
I really liked it, and stayed for the discussion which was very interesting for what you said about your process.  I was impressed that you chose to take just one part of the story and work on that, not trying to weave together all the levels yet.   Too many young directors think they need to tackle it all in one go, and I think understanding some of your visual language was a really good first step.   I also loved the set – clever and effective, I especially liked the shadow fight seen.   I hope you have a chance to work the next part of it soon.- Pam Vision, Arts Council England
Well…if you didn’t catch it… make sure you do the next time it comes around. It was really excellent. 
Thought provoking….
Good to look at…..
Ali has definitely got star quality….
Animations fantastic….
Congratulations to Herr Director… 
perhaps a little more thought about the music?
Jacksons Lane is a great space & easy to get to
Altogether…jolly well done to y’all!!!- Annie
Congratulations on a fabulous and very creative show. Really enjoyed the performance and hearing the impressions of the audience afterwards too.- Isobel Losada
Great animation! And extraordinary performances.- Rosie

Diary R&D process has been supported by The Arts Council England, Jacksons Lane, Redbridge Drama Centre, the People Speak and the BTS project