wed 18/09/2019

Doctor Faustus, Globe Theatre | reviews, news & interviews

Doctor Faustus, Globe Theatre

Doctor Faustus, Globe Theatre

A feast of visual pageantry sacrifices psychology for comedic success

Faustus (Paul Hilton) gets to grips with some of Mephistopheles's fleshier spiritsKeith Pattison

There be dragons aplenty, angels, demons and ghastly creatures both fleshy and feathered in the Globe Theatre’s inaugural production of Doctor Faustus. Christopher Marlowe’s take on the familiar Faust legend, bold in its religious content, was a controversial hit of its day, but the play’s almost medieval apposition of high thinking and knockabout farce by no means guarantees it success in the contemporary theatre. If Matthew Dunster and his team of actors fail with any of their audience it won’t be for want of trying. Throwing themselves at the material with characteristic Globe energy, theirs is a Faustus of pageantry and spectacle.

Among the pageantry and comedy there was something lacking – the psychological truth and complexity that refuses to be so smoothly unknotted

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