by Christopher Marlowe.
Globe Theatre 21 New Globe Walk Bankside SE1 9DT In rep to 2 October 2011.
1pm 3, 17 July, 14 Aug, 4, 11, 25 Sept.
2pm 24, 29, 30 June, 13, 22, 27, 29 July, 7, 14, 16, 21, 28 Sept.
4pm 2 Oct.
6.30pm 26 June, 3 July, 4, 11, 18, 25 Sept.
7.30pm 28, 29 June, 2, 12, 16, 21, 23, 26, 28 July, 13 Aug, 3, 6, 13, 15, 20, 27 Sept.
12am (midnight) 23 July.
Audio-described 17 July.
BSL Signed 14 Aug.
Runs 2hr 55min One interval.
TICKETS: 020 7401 9919.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 23 June.
Doctor Faustus enchants audiences at the Globe.
You might see him in the bar at any university – though most likely a northern one given some of the vowels here. A self-confident young academic, pronouncing on anything in – or beyond – the world with the assurance both of being right, and that everyone will want to listen to him.
Paul Hilton brings an initial mannered style to the bad doctor, never more than at the moment which knowledge of the legend makes particularly ironic, when he stands displaying a book and declaring – there’s no other word – that a magician is “a mighty god”.
His insolence is matched by Arthur Darvill’s Mephistopheles (sic). There may be moments of reluctance to complete the deed of damnation, but they are outplayed by others, such as Darvill taking Faustus’s chair when the compact’s made.
Matthew Dunster takes the theology, as well as the psychology, head on. Huge-winged angels (Beatriz Romilly’s militant Good Angel very striking), stilt-wearing masked demons, the final smoke without which there’s no hellfire wafting around the Globe’s auditorium, create the context for Faustus’ thoughts. Whatever he’s seeking by selling his soul to the devil for 24 years’ power on earth, new knowledge is not going to come his way.
And as Hilton’s voice and bearing gradually take on maturer manners, his frame covered by layers of rich clothing, his moment with Helen, “the face that launched a thousand ships” being the one where he takes to walking with a stick, he remains, for all his magic, bounded by earthly as well as infernal powers.
Dunster seeks coherence for the comic scenes, emphasising the politics and cruelty of the rival popes, with the defeated Bruno tortured by the same heavy who’ll be there at Faustus’ end, and when this is impossible he relies on stage business and comically pointed performances by, especially, Pearce Quigley’s Robin – someone with no heavenly aspirations, who’s firmly centred in his own little, local existence.
Display pieces, like the Seven Deadly Sins, luxuriate in comedy but stall the story. Yet, on the Globe’s stage, this Faustus aptly captures Elizabethan theatre’s ability to stimulate ideas while pleasing crowds.
Bad Angel/Alexander’s Paramour: Charlotte Broom.
Duke/Frederick/1st Student/Cardinal of Padua/Covetousness: Michael Camp.
Dick/1st Scholar/Friar Sandelo/Envy: Richard Clews.
Lucifer/Pope Adrian/Horse-Courser: Nigel Cooke.
Valdes/Pope Bruno/Carter/Gluttony: Jonathan Cullen.
Mephistopheles: Arthur Darvill.
Raymond/Old Man/Cornelius/Nan Spit: Robert Goodale.
Faustus: Paul Hilton.
Benvolio/2nd Scholar/3rd Student/Cardinal of France: William Mannering.
Helen/Pride: Sarita Piotrowski.
Robin/Alexander: Pearce Quigley.
Hostess/Lechery: Iris Roberts.
Good Angel/Duke’s Servant: Beatriz Romilly.
Wagner/Emperor Charles/Wrath: Felix Scott.
Duchess/Sloth: Jade Williams.
Beelzebub/Martino/2nd Student/Archbishop of Rheims: Chinna Woodu.
Director: Matthew Dunster.
Designer: Paul Wills.
Composer: Jules Maxwell.
Musical Director: Genevieve Wilkins.
Voice/Dialect: Martin McKellan.
Choreographer: Georgina Lamb.
Globe Associate – Text: Giles Block.
Globe Associate – Mo0vement: Glynn MacDonald.
Puppet director: Steve Tiplady.
Magic consultant: Richard Pinner.
Fight director: Kate Waters.
Assistant director: Frances Loy.
Assistant text work: Christine Schmidle.