Doctor Faustus

ALISON CROOSE River Studios, West Acre


> River Studios, West Acre

It is a hallmark of the ongoing quest for perfection at West Acre that, following a highly commendable production of Christopher Marlowe's challenging masterpiece seven years ago, the company aims to do even better.

And they did.

The play has been reintroduced to the current autumn programme and Andy Naylor has adapted the script to concentrate on Faustus' journey and highlight the way he used and abused his supernatural powers.

Superb light and sounds effects created a dramatic atmosphere in which the tragic tale unfolded.

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This powerful production opened up opportunities for Lucifer (Russ Jordan) and Belzebub (Katherine Shaw) to spice up the visual impact of a thought-provoking play which puts great demands on the audience.

So what is described as “a dark comedy of the soul” was given a lighter touch as Lucifer and Belzebub taunted Faustus. Particularly effective was their proffering of the seven deadly sins, contrasting starkly with his impending damnation.

Andy Naylor demonstrated great strength as the scholarly Faustus with a performance which held the audience throughout. Issy Huckle as Mephastophilis brought out the pathos of Faustus' self-inflicted plight. The interaction between the two was compelling.

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