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REVIEW: Marlowe meets his match!

Oliver Ryan, left, and Sandy Grierson in the RSC's Dr Faustus
Oliver Ryan, left, and Sandy Grierson in the RSC's Dr Faustus

Herald work experience students, Molly Sutherland and Tom Hawkins in Year 10 at Chipping Campden School, went to review Dr Faustus at the RSC last Wednesday

In this beautifully eerie performance of the classic play Doctor Faustus, Oliver Ryan and Sandy Grierson light a match at the start of the play to determine who will take on the role of the tormented Doctor while the other plays the damned devil Mephistophilis.

When we saw it Sandy’s match went out first – so he ‘lost’ and played Faustus, which he did with intensity; leaving Oliver to play an amazingly sinister devil. His soot-black feet were a nice touch!

Maria Aberg, the director, perfectly captures Marlowe’s darkly gothic tale whilst still keeping the production modern and unique, especially through the use of setting and costume, courtesy of designer Naomi Dawson.

The costumes of the seven deadly sins, who were all individually rigged out to express their loathsome qualities, were particularly impressive

Along with the fantastic leads, other the stand-out performances include Eleanor Wyld, who paints Lucifer as a cold dominatrix; and Jade Croot, who although silently plays the young Helen of Troy in the performance commands attention through her disturbing dance with Doctor Faustus.

We had never seen Dr Faustus before and had yet to read it at school, but we really enjoyed this marvellous take on Marlowe’s play – it was a visual and aural delight. However be warned this play is not for the faint of heart and you may come away with the a certain song stuck in your head!

Even though the casting is all down to chance, there is no chance that you won’t enjoy it!

Dr Faustus is on at the RSC until 4th August. It then transfers to the Barbican from 7th September until 1st October. Book tickets here

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