Dr Faustus: A Night of Blood, Magic & Debauchery
In this wildly outlandish and intensely gory adaption of Christopher Marlowe's Dr Faustus, Game of Thrones' Kit Harington plays a studious Dr Faustus who sells his soul for a life of sin. This pact with the devil thrusts him into an altogether thrilling world of celebrity, riches and power, but at what price? Seriously, a pact with the devil - do you STILL know nothing Jon Snow?
This modern twist on the classic Marlowe play certainly does its best to entice the audience into this life of sin and debauchery with Faustus. The play is propelled from 16th Century all the way to the present day with its celebrity obsessed society and undying need for instant gratification.
A quick warning - this play is not for the faint of heart. It has very adult themes, scenes sexual violence and a whole lot of blood. It is genuinely shocking, so much so that my friend chucked an entire glass of red wine over us both (Thanks, Ruth!) That’s what makes this play so entertaining though, you never know what’s going to happen next. It’s vulgar, it’s disgusting, it’s at times absolutely terrifying, but somehow it’s still really rather enjoyable.
The sheer spectacle of it all is a great way of handing theatre to a younger generation of audience. The mixture of Olde English with modern day vocabulary as well as very topical and relevant humour (Note: biggest laugh from the audience was about David Cameron’s father and a certain offshore trust) helped make the play more accessible to people who perhaps would not usually enjoy theatre or older plays. Not to mention heartthrob, Kit Harington spends a lot of time strolling around in his boxer shorts - another great way of reeling in younger viewers. Harington’s own fame also made the rendition rather tongue in cheek. His performance was enthralling throughout and the intensely deviant relationship between him and Jenna Russell’s Mephistopheles was somewhat uncomfortably electric.
The set design was fantastic. The shoebox style room in which Faustus lived was transformed throughout the play to create different version of the same small and dusty bedsit. The actors interacted with the stage in really interesting ways, using holes in the walls to create effects like levitation and movement of inanimate objects which really added to the magic of this production. So, props to Soutra Gilmour (no pun intended. OK maybe a little).
The in-your-face violence, strong sexual content and lewd toilet humour, will definitely make you flinch and feel uncomfortable, however as the play goes on you find yourself intrigued and even enjoying the dark events unfolding - which really is exactly what this play is about.