The ‘multimedia’ production of Faust/us, for a 40 minute show, has an oddly leisurely opening. The play begins with a full rendition of ‘Que Sera Sera’, before a voiceover dialogue deliberating how to best keep an audience’s attention, the consensus of which was lots of action, and nothing too ‘arty’. The irony is that the following three-quarters of an hour comprised of some deeply pretentious theatre.
A one-man show detailing the life of Dr John Faustus, from cradle to condemnation, is an ambitious project. Unfortunately, this version falls short, descending into a strobe-lit hell of sweaty torso and looped footage of rolling eyeballs.
Flitting back and forth between Wittenberg and pearly gates, Mephistopheles and Gretchen (Faust’s wife, who was either a nun or just had a taste for wimples) - the show was simply too fragmented and esoteric for my taste. Furthermore, the screaming and images of self flagellation began 10 minutes into the production, so when Faust was actually summoned into the pits of hell (right as the end), it took a while for me to notice. There were no peaks and troughs to speak of, so the plot was a little difficult to discern beneath the clips of teeth tearing at meat, high pitched peals of telephones and general hysteria.
If you are feeling particularly sinful, I recommend you go and see Faust/us for a quick dose of recrimination after which you can emerge, cleansed by the sheer visual and aural assault of your Catholic guilt. However, if your conscience is clear, I recommend that you steer clear.