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The Government Inspector – Cornerstone, Didcot

2 March, 2015 0 Comments

On Saturday we spent a very enjoyable evening being entertained by Flintlock Theatre’s production of Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector at Cornerstone in Didcot.

The Government Inspector

The Government Inspector

When the mayor and other local dignitaries of a small town in Russia learn that an inspector from the government is due to pay them a visit, they are thrown into a state of panic, fearful that their bribery, corruption and misuse of government funds are about to be exposed. On learning that there is young gentleman of extravagant tastes and strange habits staying in the town hotel, they mistakenly jump to the conclusion that this must be the inspector travelling incognito. The attempts by the mayor and his cronies to win over the young man (in reality, a penniless wastrel who cannot pay his hotel bill) become increasingly absurd while he, once he realises that they are not about to throw him in jail, can’t believe believe his good fortune.

The four players tell the tale with manic exuberance, taking every opportunity to get a laugh. It’s a very physical performance, bordering on the acrobatic – very Basil Fawlty and Manuel (particularly reminiscent of the Hotel Inspectors episode). With very few props, several quick changes of costume and some ad hoc assistance from members of the audience, the almost bare stage is filled with action, absurdity and laughter.

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