Review by Simon Harding: 26 April 2016
A thought provoking play. Obviously not one for children, but if you are used to the nudity and violence in Game of Thrones then seeing Kit Harington in these surroundings should come as no surprise!
A big re-work of Marlowe’s play by playwright, Colin Teevan and handed over to Jamie Lloyd to direct, brings parts of it up to date whilst leaving some of it still completely obscured (well to me at least).
The play centres around Faustus making a pact with the devil and then goes on to study the cost of wealth and fame when it is so ill sort-after. The play includes two acts by Colin Teevan, replacing the middle acts to offer a fresh perspective but, as I’ve not seen the original, all I noticed was that I was suddenly able to understand the words AND the meaning!
So many questions, but the main one is: “why are those strange people in pants climbing the walls of his bedsit?” Trainspotting meets Hieronymus Bosch I guess… in fact I will run around Covent Garden in my pants, vomiting colgate toothpaste (you’ll have to see the play) if that phrase didn’t appear in an early production meeting!
A massive role for Harington and he does proper go for it. Jenna Russell rises to the task too as Mephistopheles and there is a good crack at lightening the load by the 7 sins guy. There was an entertaining Helen of Troy rant later on too or am I mixing up two bits?
Quite a few famous quotes (slowly slowly etc) so that was nice to see them in situ!
Not sure that coming into a blood red theatre foyer with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” playing over the intercom particularly helped, especially as no other attempt to break the fourth wall was made during the piece.
It seemed longer than it was which is not necessarily a good thing but it was enjoyable and I think that it was worth more than the 2 stars the critics gave earlier performances.
Good special effects and the soundscape was absolutely ‘kin’credible and the ticket was worth it for that! Brothers Ben and Max Ringham will win an award!
All in all it is a yes from me!
Doctor Faustus is on at the Duke of York’s Theatre. Tickets and Theatre Breaks are available until 04 June 2016.