Doctor Faustus Review

25th March 2016
Royal Shakespeare Company- Swan Theatre

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I love this play so any performance of it, that isn’t shite, will be beautiful and I wasn’t disappointed. This production captured my interest straight away as the roles of Faustus and Mephistopheles are shared between two actors and to decide who is playing who that night the actors meet on stage and each light a match, the match who goes out first plays Faustus while the other leaves to play Mephistopheles.

The acting in this show was a little mixed I feel. Sandy Griersons Mephistopheles was fantastic, just the right mix of power, playfulness and cunning. It felt like at every moment he knew what Faustus would desire and like a cat playing with a mouse allowed him some small pleasures before gleefully ripping him apart. The deterioration of Oliver Ryans Faustus was done very well, little details made it impact full. The company had some moments of true genius like the Devil visiting to warn Faustus with the seven deadly sins but other times it felt a little forced.

The whole production was loud and hellish. I fell in love with Orlando Goughs music, I need them to make a soundtrack CD (although unlikely) because it was so rich but at the same time it was bloody mischievous, the summoning of the demons became a bit musical like a chant which gave it an old worldy feel without being dusty. On the loud and hellish note, the movement was just that but stunning. Ayse Tashkiran created movement sequences that enhanced the hellish and ritualistic moments that was both individual to the actors but still ensemble based.

I really enjoyed this production but then I am yet to see a production at The Swan Theatre that I haven’t enjoyed. I find the richness of the shows with the good acting, interesting sets and stunning live music can only ever create a fantastic show with good direction. Miss Aberg did an excellent job.


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