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Mikhail Bulgakov adapted the novel for the stage for a production at the Moscow Art Theatre. The seminal theatre practitioner Constantin Stanislavski directed the play, which opened on 28 November 1932.
The extant sections of Dead Souls formed the basis for an opera in 1976 by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin. In it Shchedrin captures the different townspeople with whom Chichikov deals in isolated musical episodes, each of which employs a different musical style to evoke the character's particular personality.
The novel was adapted for screen in 1984 by Mikhail Schweitzer as a television miniseries Dead Souls.
In 2006 the novel was dramatised for radio in two parts by the BBC and broadcast on Radio 4. It was played more for comic than satirical effect, the main comedy deriving from the performance of Mark Heap as Chichikov and from the original placing of the narrator. Michael Palin narrates the story, but is revealed actually to be following Chichikov, riding in his coach for example, or sleeping in the same bed, constantly irritating Chichikov with his running exposition.
- English translations