Doctor Faustus

by Christopher Marlowe and Colin Teevan 19 May 2024 - 22 May 2024

presented by Carnon Downs Drama Group

Welcome to Hell!

Here is Doctor Faustus the scholar who sold his soul to the Devil. In this new adaptation the third and fourth acts of Christopher Marlowe’s Elizabethan classic are re-written by Colin Teevan, updating the satire and placing Faustus in a modern world of avarice and celebrity. Faustus isn’t the only one selling his soul, bankers and media moguls all sign on the dotted line.

This new version was performed at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London in April 2016. This production at the Minack will be it’s amateur premiere produced by the same team that brought a vibrant ‘Twelfth Night’ to life in 2022.

Directed by John Frankland with original music by Ben Sutcliffe and puppetry created by Jennie Rawling. It promises a mix of tragedy and terror with comedy and magic, a wild ride through life peopled with devils, a Swat team and even the Pope and Marilyn Monroe make an appearance.

Doctor Faustus is a story that has been running since humanity came into existence. Enjoy the magical in the magical setting of a real cliff edge.

‘The stars move still; time runs; the clock will strike;
The devil will come; and Faustus must be damned.’

Review by Jane Pugh

Doctor Faustus by Jane Pugh 19 May 2024

What would Christopher Marlowe think about Colin Teevan's updated version of Doctor Faustus brought to the Minack stage by John Frankland and The Carnon Downs Theatre Group? Would he marvel at the live Now you see them, now you don't magic tricks or American presidents or Marilyn Monroe or the Steam Punk orchestra led by Ben Sutcliffe? He might be pleased that the text stays loyal to the original in terms of story and content but allow himself a secret smile that greed and excess are as prevalent and destructive today as when he originally wrote Doctor Faustus back in (circa) 1590.

On a beautiful sunny afternoon, Carnon Downs Theatre Group's collective energy, drive and camaraderie kept the pace of this long and dense play from start to finish. But despite their energy, the play needs cutting by half an hour and the dialogue needs a confident prune so that hard working actor Will Husbands in the central role wouldn't have to race through large speeches and across the stage and back again throughout. It's impossible to keep up and reflect on the themes of greed for knowledge, power, the dark arts and of being so avaricious he willingly tosses his soul to the Devil. It's a great play but directing is more than blocking and asking actors to remember their lines. It's about nuance and depth. Production issues didn't help, the depressing use of cheap plastic props and the curious decision not use mics meant the fun, menacing music drowned out the dialogue. And whilst there were imaginative moments, the beautiful puppet swans, the simple use of da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, neither were integrated within the story world.

Adjudication by Cornwall Drama Association

Carnon Downs Drama Group Production of Doctor Faustus

Seen on 20th May 2024 by Jo Nicolle and Oriel Bennett

This report and comments therein can only relate to the particular performance seen by the Adjudicators, and any observations made may not have been valid at other performances. The Adjudication report is designed to applaud excellence, to recognise talent and to encourage self-reflection which leads towards higher standards in Amateur Theatre in Cornwall.


Whether you see this piece as a Morality Play or an Elizabethan Tragedy, its themes are certainly timely and universal: what makes a man sell his soul to the Devil? Is everything he gets in his bargain worth all he loses?  Few plays in the modern canon raise these pivotal ethical and moral questions of today as pointedly and vividly as Doctor Faustus does.

The Colin Teevan adaptation combines Marlowe’s original acts with a central section set firmly in the present, and making this clear to the audience is one of the challenges faced by the Director and Cast. Another is its staging in a venue where the basic stage is (literally) ‘set in stone’, and must be adapted imaginatively to recreate the settings of the drama.


Sets and set dressing:
The Minack’s circular platform Stage Right was used for the library/study in Faustus’s house. The three Upstage arches were decorated with various items depicting the doctor’s diverse studies, including a large and impressive piece of amethyst, a crystal pyramid and a splendid, lifelike Dodo. Sextants and ship’s compass, together with a good hurricane lamp, indicated his exploratory interests, and demijohns and bottles of interesting looking liquids spoke to his scientific curiosity. Books in abundance littered the floor and, along with be-ribboned scrolls, decorated the shelves of a bookcase which doubled cleverly as a door into the room. In the Stage Right alcove a sad looking skeleton holding a tankard bespoke both an interest in anatomy, and – at the end of the play – Faustus’s horror at what he was to become. A large table set diagonally across the centre of the area supported a black bound note book, a pen pot and a small box, and was surrounded by arcane objects suggestive of the necromancer’s interests but was otherwise left bare for use in the action. A nicely ornate high backed chair indicated the status of the ownerIn later scenes, grey sheets were used to cover everything in the study, blotting it out so that the story in its other spaces could be told without distraction. The decoration of the set in this area added to the visual values of the production, indicated much of the character of the main protagonist, and – as the audience entered to an open stage – allowed the theatregoers plenty of time to enjoy the attention to detail lavished by the creative team. Vitruvian Man, simply framed, hung behind the desk, and was repeated in the large secret doorway, to admit Mephistopheles and one of Lucifer’s appearances, on the fish slab plinth Centre Stage.  The approach to this door had to have been made via a ladder and the cast members are to be applauded for their discreet entrances and their bravery!  A working skeleton clockface hung on a pillar Upstage Centre to remind us of the transience of Faustus’s life and bargain, having moving hands that were seen to plot his demise. The rest of the acting area was often left clear for the dramatic action.

In the modern section of the play, the centre was furnished with a chaise, covered in a burnt orange throw, which covering was removed in a later scene to reveal a bright turquoise, indicating a change of venue for the magician’s dressing rooms on his world tour. A clothes rail was utilised for ‘backstage’ set dressing as well as usefully holding some of the costume changes for the scenes, and a table Stage Left held the canapes and glasses for the after show party. A further, more substantial table clothed in a banqueting style doubled as a bed in the seduction of Grace/Mephistopheles, and its maroon cover was turned to reveal a sparkly fabric for the glitz and glamour of the celebrity lifestyle embraced in this section of the play. The set dressing in this main acting area was necessarily simple, but was quite enough to indicate what was necessary for the plot. The musicians’ tent tucked in at Stage Left, as well as housing the small ensemble and their instruments, provided a ‘wings’ storage space for the speedy placement on stage of the extra furniture.

The whole made good use of the working area allowing plenty of room for the free movement of the cast.

Lighting, Sound and Special Effects:
Lighting was simple: warm white and pale peach washes and cooler blue LEDs, with an intensity of bright white towards the dramatic climax. Choosing to light Wagner in a purple spot as Mephistopheles told her long story drew attention to the Juliet Balcony.  As the daylight in the amphitheatre faded, the lighting became more pronounced: we could see the stage flooded with a warm gold wash and, towards the end, a straw flood accompanied Faustus’s final despair before eerie blues joined as the Demons came to collect their prey.  The flames flickering atop the flats were quite effective, adding to the drama, with the pillars and large screen topped by fire as Faustus finally succumbed.  Lightning effects with intense flashing whites were timely with the SFX and bright enough to be noticed even in the late afternoon sunlight of the venue.

Sound effects were used cleverly within the drama: the thunder roll to introduce Faustus at his desk was atmospheric, and the cymbal swell as we learn of his interest in the necromantic book continued the sense of menace, as did the drumroll for Faustus’s stabbing and writing his deed of gift in blood. The microphone reverb used by Lucifer added an imposing dimension to the introduction of the Seven Deadly Sins. Generally there was consistent recognition of the need to play up to the top of the auditorium with strong delivery from the main characters and those familiar with the venue.  Just now and then some of the voices sounded less confident of their roles and did not match the energy around them. “Voices Off” such as Lincoln’s and the Stage Manager’s tannoy worked to promote the scene-setting backstage at a theatre as did the general hubbub of an ‘audience’ for the “Doctor Faustus” stage show, which was suitably subdued.  The lavatory flush was well timed, and towards the end, the gradual crescendo of the ticking clock and the hour chimes fitted well with the increasingly panicky dialogue. Music was used to add atmosphere to the tawdry showmanship of the Magician scenes with end of the pier style accordion and piano, and with guitar riffs to underscore the celebrity of the Rock Star and Faustus’s desire to enter that world. The linking music addressed the empty stage dilemma of scene changes as well as often introducing the mood of the coming action. Volumes were usually good, the actors’ voices almost always audible when dialogue was given over backing tracks though one or two in the after show party – especially the Banker and Media Mogul – were a little drowned, and in the Chorus chanting not all the voices were strong enough to top the backing with one or two confident singers clearly standing out as leading the others.  The musical offerings, both specially written and existing tracks, were timely, well chosen, and all added to the production values.

The Magic Consultants had been well used to rehearse the cast in the several tricks they performed. Impressing us initially was the appearance of Mephistopheles from inside an apparently empty cage, and the flash papers used elsewhere were ignited unobtrusively, and especially effective on Faustus’s trouser leg as the Vitruvian Man doorway opens for the first time. The hand coming through Faustus’s tummy to grab the Deed was effective.  The string-into-necklace was nicely glittery, the flaming taper into a rose less well seen from afar – both tricks were well managed but might have been even more impressively  effective in a more confined theatre space than the Minack, because of the vastness of its huge stage and the panoramic view behind. Puppets also featured with two beautiful Swans (Good Angel and Bad Angel), showing perversely reversed colouring, in their construction of paper over a framework, with necks cunningly contrived from ducting pipe to allow for flexible movement.  Their operators understood the value of focusing on the puppet’s head and manoeuvred them skilfully.

The books of incantations, astronomy and herbology fluttered or disgorged their contents as appropriate, and were of a good size even for the upper tiers of the audience to see. The “tortured souls” brought on various items of clownish appearance, some of which were used to transform a Demon into a “hot whore wife” for Faustus in a sequence that could have done with a more careful rehearsal because the cardigan barely held the balloons in place and the smoking wig came away from the Demon wife’s head.  The umbrellas turning, wheel-like, along with the dragon heads, formed a serpent of sorts. The spinning plate and juggling balls were handled with aplomb, and Champagne flutes and bottles and canapes held, opened and eaten with apparent relish (good timing on the popping cork!) The VIP reception saw handfuls of banknotes thrown into the air - odd that (in Las Vegas?) they appeared to be British with what looked like the Queen’s head!   The accoutrements thrown out from behind and over the seduction bed sheets were slightly lost: we saw a duck, a jester’s jingle stick, a baseball bat, but all at once and dropped on to the floor rather than discarded dramatically. The ‘gossip’ magazine and the long nail file were good details for the shallow celebrity lifestyle.

Costumes and make-up:
The costumes for the 16th century play appeared to be non-specific ‘period’ dress: Cornelius in his Gothic buttoned pseudo-military jacket, made a strange contrast to the traditional cutaway coat, yellow cravat, white silk opera scarf plus topper and cane of Valdez.  Wagner in a long purple crinoline style looked more Victorian, while Faustus was more acceptable in a dirty white shirt, black trousers and coat, so he was able to straddle the centuries easily. Lucifer looked magnificent in black frockcoat, and wing-collared shirt under a red brocade waistcoat with coordinating cravat. His top hat of leather, silver-topped cane and heavy black buckled boots gave a steampunk look which theme was repeated in the costumes worn by the band as they appeared from time to time. This was a good choice for the retrofuturistic aesthetics of the whole production, and worked well with the simple Ensemble costume of waistcoats over white shirts and black trousers.  The Good and Evil Angels were unusual in their contra-conventional colours. In Las Vegas, the SWAT team were clearly identified by baseball caps; the Pope in his white rather flimsy cassock and zucchetto wore a good size pectoral cross; and Saxon Bruno with his tattoo sleeves and studded wristband looked quite the heavy rock star. Marilyn Monroe sported a suitable blonde wig, figure hugging glittery dress and white fur stole. Helen of Troy, however, though ethereally gauzy in shimmering pastel rose, was hardly Grecian in dress. Grace Wagner in stage crew blacks was right, and her black satin robe and slip, with the heels, was a good match for Mephistopheles’s equivalent attire at the reveal at the end of that scene. (Some good slick changes there, despite Wagner’s costume being caught up in the back of her trousers at her roped reappearance). Most of the exciting costumes were correctly given to the vampish agent of the Devil. The initial grotesque grey haired and balding mask appearing through the doorway gave way to the steampunk/fantasy costume of black lace, fishnets and basque with killer heels, tightly scraped hair and strong eye and lip make up. This suited Mephistopheles’s character as the personification of the seductive force of Evil without placing her in time or place. The high leg body under the red glitzy Vegas show girl costume worked well for the Magician’s assistant, with Faustus in white with red cummerbund, tie and coat. Mephistopheles’s silky jersey fabric for the flowing all-in-one catsuit was a good glamorous look for the ascendant Demon as Faustus begins to look increasingly dishevelled. The clown masks and spattered aprons were effective for a sense of horror and unreality, and the smoking wig, the hooped skirt and baggy cardigan for the ‘wife’ were a clever idea, though clearly not easy to deal with.


The overall vision of the director must be paramount in any production, and is nowhere more important than in a complex, multi-layered play like Marlowe’s original morality tale combined with Teevan’s modern additions.

It was a sensible, and perhaps self-evident, choice to use the slightly raised circular platform Stage Right for Faustus’s library. It could be cleverly littered with the accoutrements of his study for visual cues and interest, while the main body of the stage was largely clear for much of the action. Draping the study in grey cloth successfully allowed that area to be accessed for the modern scenes, and the Stage Right exit used for various entrances – notably the two glamorous female ‘visions’. Use of the Upstage Centre plinth was effective, particularly for entrances through the Vitruvian Man doorway, and the entrances both behind the Upstage pillars and to Stage Left of the auditorium were used for drama and expediency in the swift scene changes. The A Vista changes to set dressing were slick and often made in character. Linking music covered these pauses in the action, provided interest and hinted at the atmosphere of the coming scene.

 It was an interesting idea to have Lucifer sitting in the auditorium before the start of the show, and to enter from there – perhaps to remind the audience that the Prince of Darkness is always amongst us. Another interesting choice was to reverse the conventional black and white of Good and Evil. We weren’t sure why this was done – perhaps symbolically to indicate that Evil may appear to be good, and Good appear to be wrong., though this was confusing at first. The first use of the hidden doorway on the fish slab was a well engineered striking visual for the audience. Though an impressive magic moment, might the initial surprise arrival through the door in Vitruvian Man of the Demonic Mephistopheles have been more pointed?  It did seem as if she was merely peeping her head and shoulders through, and at a low angle, so the full effect of the unpleasant mask was somewhat lost. Very clever was the swap of bodies from Wagner to Mephistopheles with the magic table carefully placed against one of the pillars and a sheet large enough to cover the change invisible behind the mirror.  Placing a Demon mask over Marilyn Monroe’s head in its central position was rather less elegantly achieved.  Saxon Bruno and Robyn’s ‘genital swap’ was possibly not understood by those who had no knowledge of the script, as it seemed directed with modesty in mind and the crotch clutching was just that, no pointed clarity as to reason.

The play started with a dynamic entry and strong delivery of a prologue that was the introduction of Doctor Faustus performing in his world-touring stage show.   The energy displayed in these first few lines instantly engaged the Minack audience and conducted the action into a flashback sequence. 

From the beginning of the piece, clearly set in the Renaissance past by virtue of the set dressing, Faustus’s restless quest for knowledge and his insatiable desire for notoriety were absolutely clear in this production. The line between interpretation made through direction and actor instinct is often blurred in a good performance, but here we thought we saw a good measure of directorial authority in the increasing pace of Faustus’s frustration with present knowledge and the thirst for more, which drive him to make a pact with the Devil in return for the power to perform the black arts. The Director used the athleticism of the actor effectively, and allowed the full range of emotion to appear as the character unravels. Mephistopheles, too was clearly depicted as the disdainful, condescending agent of darkness, and again the physicality of the actor and roaming use of the stage was well chosen to reflect the all-encompassing power the Devil’s minion has over events.

The use of accents was sporadic: At the beginning an MC engages with the audience (pantomime style) to ‘wonder’ at the marvels to come, in a clearly American accent. However, when the modern section of the play was based in Las Vegas, there was barely any suggestion of a Stateside twang or intonation. Perhaps the lack of accent is to indicate the ‘Everyman’ universality of the story – but then the choice at the start of the show is unexplained.  Otherwise dialogue was good: cues snappy and lines, even in those lead parts where there are so many lines, secure and confident. The echoing of dialogue by a chanting Chorus was used to great effect, particularly so in Faustus’s long Latin incantation when it created a genuinely eerie atmosphere. The cast almost universally understood a particular challenge of The Minack, to reach the top of the auditorium in voice and facial expression, and indeed were successful in meeting this task. The script has the original opening scenes and Faustus’s last speech in blank verse, and while there may be no need to accentuate the stresses of the iambic pentameter, it might have been nice to feel the awareness of that rhythm, since it defines the character of the learned doctor before his fall from grace, and the pitiable echo of that orderliness in the final soliloquy of pain and regret. It is there to contrast with the plain prose of the damned scholar and the modern harsher and more colloquial dialogue of the Teevan scenes, and we missed this layer of nuance. (This may seem a bit ‘nit-picky’, but in a production and performance of quality, perhaps you can strive for all the details of perfection!) The decision to use  engagement of the cast with the audience (Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Gluttony etc) reminds us that we too are involved  with the choices over good and evil made in this 400-year-old cautionary tale, and those same universal truths resonate powerfully with the greed of today’s society. A thoughtful and thought provokingly directed production.


Doctor Faustus:
A tour de force performance of the seeker after knowledge whose ill-advised decision propels him into a heady, celebrity-obsessed world, as magician and illusionist to the rich and famous.

The sense of constant tension and stress was there from the start in skittish movement and quick, edgy speech patterns. Though this meant we lost some of the underlying cadence of the blank verse, which would have made a pleasing contrast with the prose which follows on from the accursed deed of gift to the Devil, it did give us a very clear picture of a fanatical scholar. It paved the way for the disintegration of the character into a neurotic hedonist in the Teevan scenes with realistic inebriation, convincing despair.  His noble rejection of Grace Wagner towards the end was underplayed – probably correctly, since such sacrifice would detract from the position of a damned soul without hope of salvation. The last, despairing and conflicted soliloquy was extremely well nuanced, we believed in the cry for help, the draw of Evil, and his final acceptance of his culpability in his own damnation. A very good vocal and physical performance.

The actor showed a knowing use of the body as an instrument. Upright carriage and a good, sometimes languid, sometimes forceful, strutting walk gave us the Demon in embodiment of seductive evil. Facial expressions were carefully and correctly devoid of real emotion and compassion, and gestures dismissive or hypnotic. Lines were at times rather too quick for perfect articulation, and the emphasis occasionally fell oddly in a sentence, but on the whole this was a compelling interpretation of the role, and a commendable performance.

At first simply the obedient servant, we saw this character develop into the perturbed student/assistant. Her facial expressions and gestures showed her concern and compassion growing, as her realisation of the relationship between Faustus and Mephistopheles as one of power and evil influence is understood. The seduction of Faustus was not overplayed, and her plea for his redemption was nicely nuanced with quiet despair in the voice which was just right for the character in her convincing grief for the loss of her secret love. Enunciation very good on the whole, watch out for dropping projection in introverted emotions.

An unnervingly underplayed Devil this, quietly and insidiously achieving his ends.  An imposing figure, though sometimes stance was a little stooped forwards. A good, measured delivery which might have been more weighty in tone, though the echoing reverb helped with the sonorous power we would expect from the terrifying presence. A good stage presence with some gravitas and an awareness of the potency of physical stillness.

Good Angel & Evil Angel:
Puppets were handled well, with a slightly mesmeric dancelike movement. Words were clear, with just enough differentiation in the delivery to embody the two distinct elements in Faustus’s conscience, though the calmness with which most of the dialogue was uttered did not speak to the battle for an immortal soul – might they perhaps have been more fervent and determined in their arguments? Their two Chorus pairs were nicely balanced against each other as to voice and volume.

The cameo roles were played with enthusiasm and often for laughs: we enjoyed Saxon Bruno’s brash self-belief, Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday’, and the President’s pomposity. The Duchess’s rambling admiration which turns into the craven request for ‘black food’, and the Pope’s assertions of the light of truth and the empty showmanship of the Devil were also given a light touch, though they are both important speeches in terms of the story. The Banker and Media Mogul, and the Politician, were all rather hard to hear over the music, and the purport of their withdrawal of gifts and signing their souls away may have been incompletely understood by the audience if unfamiliar with this script.

The Clowns moved with menace, and with those very creepy masks embodied the ugly face of Hell’s minions in a horribly realistic way.

The Ensemble worked hard to support the narrative most successfully.


A really challenging text and a complex and layered play to produce. We congratulate the Director, Cast and Crew for turning it into a thought provoking and entertaining piece of theatre, in a venue not necessarily well suited to such a play. That it worked as well as it did is evidence of careful planning and diligent rehearsal.

Adjudication by NODA

Date 19th May 2024

Society Carnon Downs Drama Group

Venue Minack Theatre

Type of Production Play

Writer Christopher Marlowe and Colin Teevan

Director John Frankland

Musical Director Ben Sutcliffe

Puppet Creator and Director Jennie Rawling

Although I have attended various performances over the years at the Minack they have all been choirs, where if your attention is drawn away from the playing area to the view it didn’t impact the vocals, therefore I was wondering if my attention would be fully focused on the action on the stage. But I can assure you that the performance held my attention throughout.

This play was new to me, it was interesting to read the information in the programme which gave me an overview of what was to come. Since the production I have read the original and it was fascinating to see how Colin Teevan’s adaptation brings parts of the story into the modern age, which actually sits with Marlowe’s original text.

The confines of the playing area were cleverly used with Dr Faustus’ office set up on a raised platform stage right incorporating an original door, this was covered with clothes during a major part of the play and uncovered at the end. The entrance to hell was through a large image of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man placed on a stone table with four images behind him which appeared to represent religion/magic (pentangle), anatomy (skull), time (clock) and the final image was difficult to define and I wondered if it might be Marlowe. On a plinth next to it was a metal clock depicting the passing of the twenty-four-year contract Dr Faustus had signed up in blood for. There were dramatic flames across the plinths and picture as Faustus was taken.  Other props were well managed by members of the cast and arrived from stage left. The cleverly constructed books were great but the piece de resistance were the beautifully constructed black and white swan puppets, you were certainly drawn to them rather than their operators who brought them to life.

The costumes were well fitting and changed from period to modern day depending on whose words were being spoken. It was great to see that time had been taken to ensure those within set groups had been given complimentary costumes.

Ben Sutcliffe’s, clever score and the musicians added interest to the performance. He had obviously spent times with the actors involved in delivering musical lines. They were in the main clearly delivered and I feel the incantations that the choir sang were much easier to understand because of their rhythm. The dances used in the play, I especially liked the umbrellas as dragons, were well rehearsed and added to the story.  

The lighting which became more evident as the natural light faded enhanced the scenes and the sound team ensured all the text, sound effects and music was audible to the audience.

The opening was certainly spectacular with Dr Faustus, two players and a metal cage. The doctor covered the cage and touched the front of the cage while the actors pronounced ‘How does he do it? ‘Does he, do it?’ and when the cover was removed there was a woman in the cage. This we found out was how Faustus summoned Mephistopheles. This was the first of a variety of well delivered magic tricks during the play.

Dr Faustus, the protagonist is a very complex character to play, he has to demonstrate his disillusionment with his life in which he has achieved in the areas of medicine, law, logic and religion. But he is never satisfied and makes his mind up that to reach new levels and obtain ultimate power he needs to practice the black arts by selling his soul to the devil. He gave a brilliant, energetic performance making full use of all the playing space. Interacted well with all the other actors especially with Mephistopheles, his skilled servant from Lucifer, who gives him a book of spells and his faithful servant Wagner.  He cleverly demonstrated his journey through his manic phases, the pleasure he achieved through the adulation when performing his spectacular magic tricks to his despair when his time was up. He certainly appears to show a desire to have completed different choices.

It is interesting that Teevan changed the sex of Mephistopheles in his adaption of the play when asked why he said ‘if Mephistopheles is a scary devil-man… he holds the whip but if she is a sexy…. lady Faustus can think he has the better of her.’ This is very true in your production; your actor created a believable character who was able to show that she was in control of the demands that the doctor made of her and in many ways made him look lost on the stage. What was also interesting was the dynamics between her and Wagner. She almost showed vulnerability when Wagner was interacting with Faustus and took her ultimate revenge by replacing herself in his bed.

The actor portraying Dr Faustus’ servant Wagner, did so with presence. She tried her best to persuade him to follow his studies and the bible throughout the play, but was ultimately overruled by a more powerful force. It was interesting to watch her affection for the doctor increasing and her efficient managing of the party. Her interactions with Mephistopheles were at points like two she cats but everyone knew who was going to win.

The prince of devils, ruler of hell and Mephistopheles master Lucifer, was initially a member of the audience before being invited on stage. Your actor created a good strong character who spoke clearly but it was a little difficulty to distinguish his lyrics when singing. He constantly reinforces Dr Faustus contract and when he wavers shows him the pastimes in heaven, the seven deadly sins, that await him which quells his doubts.

The puppeteers in charge of the Good and Bad Angels were excellent and strangely opposite colours than expected. They both calmy moved around the stage manipulating the swans which interacted with other members of the cast. The Good Angel was constantly encouraging Faustus to repent and return to God whilst the Bad Angel supported his contract with the devil. Between them they argued their relevant points offering arguments and counterarguments.

The nine members of your ensemble played a myriad of parts during the production. They excelled as members of the chorus, clowns, deadly sins and the SWAT squad. They played Faustus magician friends, a Duke and Duchess, the Pope, Martin Luther King, media Mogul, Banker, Minister, Presidents of the United States, rock star and lastly two beautiful women albeit from different eras Marilyn Monroe and Helen of Troy.  They must have spent a great deal of time ensuring they knew who, when and what they should be doing. There was some great dialogue delivered in believable accents when needed, although I did think that Martin Luther King had maybe resettled in Cornwall. I would especially like to mention Marilyn’s rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ which was great.

This play certainly seems to have relevant features related to modern times possibly our dedication to technology, knowledge and total undeniable devotion maybe there are questions we need to ask ourselves.

I would like to thank you all for your request for a review and congratulate all both on stage and behind the scenes on a thought-provoking performance.


Any observation made by the reviewer can only be based on what he sees at the performance in question.  The reviewer may have received information in advance of the performance and it is inevitable that his assessment will be affected by that knowledge. 

The NODA Representative’s intention is to give an objective critique of the overall production and in particular, the performance.  It should be remembered that any review of this nature can only be objective as far as the techniques used during the performance observed.  Any criticisms expressed may not have been valid at other performances and are only made to encourage higher standards in Amateur Theatre. 

 It is hoped that the audience’s appreciation of your efforts will have given everyone a lift and encouraged you to greater achievements in the future and that the observations made by the reviewer will prove helpful in improving future productions.

Sheila Gill Representative NODA Southwest 2


National Operatic and Dramatic Association

15 The Metro Centre, Peterborough PE2 7UH

Tel 01733 374 790 Fax 01733 237 286 Email [email protected] Web

Twitter @NODAtweets  Facebook NationalOperaticDramaticAssociation

Registered CIO charity number 1171216 Registered company number 241572 Registered in England and Wales at the above address.

Patrons: The Lord Lloyd Webber and Connie Fisher