What might entice you to sell your soul to the devil? Fame? Riches? Immortality? World peace? A rent-free London flat? Four pints of Guinness? At my post-show Q&A for a production of Doctor Faustus, that was an irresistible question to pose to the company. But before that, we covered much else to do concerning adaptation and the creative process, with a lot of fun and laughter.
John Faustus, in search of complete fulfillment, sells his soul to the Devil in return for 24 years of unlimited knowledge, power and fame. As the clock strikes 12 on his final day, Mephistopheles enters, repayment is due. Christopher Marlowe’s extraordinary, theatrical and fantastical Doctor Faustus (1592/3) comes to the stage in this all-new ensemble production from Lazarus Theatre at London’s Southwark Playhouse.
Now in their 15th year, Lazarus is renowned for their powerful and modern reinventions of the classical canon, including acclaimed ensemble productions of Marlowe’s Tamburlaine and Edward II – both of which I also chaired Q&As for in 2015 and 2017, respectively – and Dido Queen of Carthage, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, Henry V, Troilus and Cressida, King Lear and Coriolanus.
Doctor Faustus is adapted and directed by Lazarus artistic director Ricky Dukes and stars Jamie O’Neill, whose many other Lazarus credits include the title role in Macbeth. This acclaimed production displays Lazarus signature style, with quite a lot of blood and a few balloons, music and dance, mischief and humour, and stunning ensemble work.
Following the evening performance on Wednesday 14 September 2022 at London’s Southwark Playhouse, I was joined onstage by Ricky and Jamie as well as the rest of the Doctor Faustus cast: (from l-r) Henry Mettle, Jordan Peedell, Hamish Somers, Candis Butler-Jones, Henrietta Rhodes, Charis Murray, Rachel Kelly, Stefan Capper and David Angland.
Event photography by Anthony Kelly.
— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) September 14, 2022
Tonight we are joined by @TerriPaddock chairing our #Faustus post show Q&A – want to know more about the Lazarus process, Marlowe's mind busting play or what its like to create an ensemble? If so grab yourselves a ticket to tonight's show then join us! https://t.co/lVHtHxyXM3 pic.twitter.com/KQwKgnOdJS
— Lazarus Theatre Company (@LazarusTheatre) September 14, 2022