Saturday, 2 October 2010

Dr. Faustus

We went with friends to see Dr. Faustus last night at the Manchester Royal Exchange.
It was an excellent production, with Patrick O'Kane brilliantly cast as a tortured but inspired Faustus. Faustus has been described as a "Renaissance man who had to pay the medieval price for being one", and I don't think I was too fanciful in seeing in the play our current day conflicts between religion and science. Faustus thirsts for power, but more than that he craves knowledge. He is enquiring, challenging and contentious in his quest to truly know; so much so that he rejects the scriptures, and sees a circular element in theology, as though it is a closed loop (hmmmm...)

I am full of admiration for just how well many plays are staged these days. The stage craft was superb with excellent lighting, sound and delivery. The use of zombie like demons (see picture) was very effective, even though Kev said his overall impression was Harry-Potter-meets-Pirates- of-the-Caribbean. The play was three hours long, but even after an exhausting week I was enthralled throughout.
We had a devil of a time!


  1. Sue

    thanks for this... Wished we'd known, as we were in Manchester yesterday afternoon. Instead, for my partner's birthday present, we're going to see Pricilla Queen of the Desert at the Cambridge Theatre tonight. Not quite as hi-brow as Marlowe... But water finds its own level and P... drags me to enough Shaffer etc. to make up for my lack of culture!!

    Head still throbbing after the long drive from Anglesey to Rochdale, to Denton, to Herts in deluvial proportioned rain yesterday! P... doesn't drive, so I do it all.

    As I am writing this, I have just told P... about Faustus and he now wishes we'd stopped the night in Manchester... or watched the played and driven back to Herts afterwards!!! I can't complain, I often 'do' something in Lancashire or YOrks in an evening and drive back to Herts afterwards.

    Lucky you! Perhaps it might come to London afterwards.

    As ever:


  2. P.S. 'Pricilla Queen of the Desert' is not on at the Cambridge Theatre - it is on at the Palace Theatre - which is on Cambridge Circus - hence the confusion. A good 'fun' night at the theatre, but not as good as the film (which I first saw at Openshaw Multiplex in 1994).

    Awful journey home due to heavy rain at just the same time as the theatres emptied - Leicester Square tube station was chaotic - the only consulation was that I heard a voice I knew and turned round to find Andy Hamilton (of Radio 4 etc. fame) and his family behind me - they themselves orphans of the storm! We had to walk to Holborn before we could find a tube station that would admit us, by this time we were soaked to the skin and have just got in and thrown most of our clothes in the washer and our shoes are drying out on newspaper in the airing cupboard... So even in the Beautiful South we can have Mancunian rain!

    We will look out for Faustus coming our way... again thanks for this!


  3. Hi Stephen,
    Would have been lovely if you'd gone to Faustus, we could have met up in the interval! Do let me know if you are in Manchester again:)

    The weather was foul on Friday...and the weather up here is foul today. Grey skies and rain, gets me down!