DramaNorth WestReview

The Tragical History of Dr Faustus – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Christopher Marlowe

Adaptor: Kerry Frampton & Ben Hales

Director: Kerry Frampton

Splendid Productions have a mission; to entertain and educate, and on the basis of tonight’s performance and judging by the reaction of the mainly teenage audience, they did both.

Taking the near 450-year-old play The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, writers Kerry Frampton and Ben Hales have created an interactive, ridiculous, and fun show. The company first began staging the production 10 years ago and have now brought it back for 2019/2020 tour.

Telling the story of the brilliant, yet arrogant Dr Faustus, a man who seemingly has everything but wants more. One evening, Faustus decides to summon the devil in a bid to have his every wish granted, however, the price of this is Faustus’ soul. This is the ultimate morality tale that teaches us the lesson to be careful what we wish for, as it may just come true, whilst highlighting the seven deadly sins, and showing how it only takes one to lead to our demise.

Think Horrible Histories, meets the Edinburgh Fringe and you’re on the right track: there are songs, jokes, magic tricks and some audience participation. The cast of three, Grace Goulding, Tanya Muchanyuka and Nick Crosbie play various roles complete with some outrageous accents, and comedy disguises that include Faustus, his student, Wagner, Knights and of course three omnipotent devils. The three work like any comedic partnership, with Goulding as the group’s leader, Muchanyuka mainly playing it straight with a deadpan delivery and finally Crosbie as the ‘fall guy’ of the group. They all show a knack for comedy that was perfect for building a connection with the audience which is just what a show like this needs.

Clearly, I’m not the target audience for a show of this nature, but the mainly teenage crowd in attendance loved the show and went with it. This was an hour of fun, silliness, all with some much-needed life lessons. Splendid Productions certainly know how to make education fun!

Reviewed 20 November 2019 | Image: Contributed

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Educational Fun

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The North West team is under the editorship of John McRoberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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