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Doctor Faustus 2004 - National Theatre Education Department


'As part of the Primary Classics education programme, it is adapted from Christopher Marlowe's Dr Faustusand other tellings of the myth with new additional material created by Carl Grose.

Directed by Rebecca Gould and Mervyn Millar, Dr Faustus is the story about what might happen if you want too much, what might happen if you meet the Devil and what might happen if you spend a lot of time looking for sausages.

Actors, puppets and live music combine to tell one of the most enduring stories in world literature, in a production packed with  magic, poetry and humour. The cast features Guy Lewis as Faustus, Emma Stansfield as Mephistopheles, Jonny Hoskins as Kasper and Ansuman Biswas as Wagner.'

'Devil's in the details', Plymouth Extra, 29 January 2004

'Fiendish incantations, demonic visitations and contracts written in blood - the story of Dr Faustus is devilish fascinating to children, and this stylish adaptation of the Christopher Marlowe play delves thrillingly into the dark side of magic. Marlowe also worked in prodigious amounts tomfoolery between the sinister start and shocking end of the doctor's pact with the devil. The laughs in this production for the over-eights a collaboration between the National Theatre and Theatre Royal Plymouth, directed by Rebecca Gould, are provided by puppets. [...]

Just as Jane Linz Roberts' studious set hides rather more frivolous detail - the heavy bookshelves and cabinets conceal rudimentary rod puppet representations of good and evil angels - so the speeches of Faustus and Emma Stansfield's gamine Mephistopheles, in Marlowe's beautiful blank verse, are interspersed with more colloquial exchanges.'

Ronnie Haydon, 'The Wonderful Life ad Miserable Death of the Renown Magician Dr Faustus', Time Out, 17 February 2004

'Indeed, eclipsing the grave exploits of Guy Lewis's engaging Faustus and Emma Stansfield's oddly endearing, flame-haired principal-boy of a Mephistopheles, are the comic adventures of the puppet Kasper, a starving would-be actor who sells his soul for a single sausage. The latter is operated and voiced with great flair by Jonny Hoskins. Everywhere, though, the constant shift in form of puppetry used - we get everything from a giant, two-dimensional angel to a little devil fashioned from objects in Faustus's laboratory - create jarring alterations of mood, even confuse - especially when characters are played by people and puppets simultaneously.'

Oliver Jones, 'The Wonderful Life ad Miserable Death of the Renown Magician Dr Faustus', What's On, 17 February 2004

Details on cast and production materials from NT Archives