Doctor Faustus – A Different Interpretation

The second chapter of Book 1, Reputations focused on Doctor Faustus, written by Christopher Marlowe in the late 16th Century.  Taking the stance of a Morality Play, it features Dr John Faustus, an excellent scholar, who feels he has learned all he can by human means.  He makes a deal with Mephistopheles that, for a period of twenty-four years, he will live a life of luxury and unimaginable knowledge.  However, in doing so, and refusing to repent, Faustus in damned perpetually.

On hearing that an adaptation of the play was being performed at a theater local to me, I knew I had to go and see it. It was enlightening.  Adapted by Katharine Hurst and Stuart Walker, of Scene Productions, and directed by Kelly Taylor-Smith and Katharine Hurst, it provided an alternative insight into the life of the protagonist.
The scene was set with a simple yet effective desk that adapted to suit the needs of the performance.  The lighting and sound effects provided much of the atmosphere.
Dr Faustus was a great performance of physical theatre that permitted the audience’s imaginations to enter the fictional world.

Three actors and a puppet completed the cast and they gave a performance of a lifetime.
Faustus was performed by a puppet (and controlled by the third actor) and while I originally felt it was a strange choice for the protagonist, the decision grew on me.  The puppet fitted well with this particular adaptation.
Lucifer and Mephistopheles worked well together and the overall effect demonstrated that Mephistopheles was Lucifer’s puppet.
The female actor, who played Lucifer, was dynamic and energetic.  She filled the stage with her enigmatic performance.   Mephistopheles was adaptable and energetic.

I can highly recommend this adaptation, however, it will not suit all tastes.. If you like to view performances that are played ‘by the book’, then this isn’t for you.  If you like different interpretations then go and see it… :)

For information on future performances of Dr Faustus throughout the UK then click here to visit the Scene Production website.


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