CHRISTOPHER SMITH Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich
Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich
Christopher Marlow's name echoes through the history of literature. But his Dr Faustus poses problems for modern audiences. Half medieval morality play, half portrayal of a Renaissance character, its great monologues are framed by a plot that soon threatens to fall apart.
Starting with the idea of a man selling his soul to the devil is great, but then the dramatist runs a bit short of invention when he imagines what his hero might expect to get back from such an alarming bargain.
Director Peter Sowerbutts tackles the text robustly. With music composed by Josh Kaye to create atmosphere, he uses red and black to convey the mood. Demons dance and giggle, and spirits appear in masks, gesturing and grimacing.
It's quite a spectacle, especially when the smoke starts rising up from the underworld.
- 1 Broads Authority moves to prosecute pub over caravans - again
- 2 Part of A47 closed in both directions after crash
- 3 See inside this idyllic family home up for sale with NO nearby neighbours
- 4 EXCLUSIVE: The faces behind City's prospective US investment
- 5 Former coastal restaurant up for auction
- 6 Man claims supermarket fuel was contaminated as he reveals £200 repair bill
- 7 Thousands expected to attend huge four-day steam extravaganza
- 8 M&S to close 32 stores as part of move away from town centres
- 9 Motorcylist in 50s in hospital with serious injuries after tyre shop crash
- 10 Multiple fire crews tackle farm blaze overnight
Amid all that, stands Rob Morris as Faustus, changing mood in a trice as he tires of scholarship or realises what price he must pay for sin.
Noel Jones plays opposite him as Mephistophiles. Smooth tongued and insinuating, with a sinister smile as he agrees to every suggestion provided he can claim his due.