Humour of Gogol brought to a modern audience at The Mill

Government Inspector NNL-150503-144940001
Government Inspector NNL-150503-144940001

Corruption in Russia forms the backdrop to the 19th Century satire The Government Inspector which is at The Mill Arts Centre next week in a dynamic touring production.

Gogol’s play tells of Anton Antonovich, a mayor in small-town Russia, who is in the midst of a crisis.

A government official is on his way to inspect his district and, in Anton’s own words, “this is a disaster!”

The inspector is only too willing to overlook his misdemeanours in exchange for the odd generous bribe.

But is he quite who he says he is or will Anton and his band of buffoons finally get what’s coming to them?

Gogol’s bravery in publishing the original work in 1836 was shown by the fierce reaction to its first performance and he was forced to flee the country. Undeterred, he went on to produce his greatest work, the novel Dead Souls.

Directed by Robin Colyer (Oxford Playhouse, The Watermill, Barbican,) this highly-regarded production sees four actors swapping characters at breakneck speed and offers frequent audience participation.

Flintlock employs its distinctive dance and physical storytelling style to create an immersive 100-minute experience with a fast and furious soundtrack and live music interval entertainment.

Suitable for ages 10 upwards, the production features Francesca Binefa (Smooth Faced Gentlemen), Sam Davies (Strangeface, Black Rat) and Jeremy Barlow (Rufus Norris, Croydon Warehouse).

Flintlock Theatre was founded in 2012 by Colyer and Anna Glynn.

Both experienced actors, Robin and Anna wanted to create a collaborative company that prioritised ensemble working and made intensely theatrical, exciting performances with a regular company of associate artists.

They are now Evolve artists-in-residence at Oxford Playhouse and Spark Supported Artists at Pegasus Theatre.

The production had a sell-out run in 2012, toured in 2013 and is back on tour, arriving at The Mill in Banbury tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £13 and £11 seated, from: or call the box office 01295 279002.