Eleanor Perrin previews the upcoming Theatre Arts Society production of Dr Faustus.
Though it feels term has hardly started, the time has swung around for The Theatre Arts Society’s annual Refreshers show. This year, the play of choice is Christopher Marlowe’s classic morality tale Dr Faustus, directed by Essex’s own Ciaran Forde and Samuel Bell.
At heart, Dr Faustus acts as a warning against daring to soar beyond your means. The story follows the title character; a thrifty buisnessman thirsty for ultimate supremacy. When Faustus meets Mephistopheles greed gets the better of him and he sells his soul to the devil in exchange for 24 years of knowledge, wealth and power. Yet, it is not long till Faustus realises just how high a price he has paid. Marlowe’s tragedy begs us to consider just how highly we actually value our souls.
‘Dr Faustus acts as a warning against daring to soar beyond your means’
I spoke exclusively with one half of the directorial duo, Ciaran, who shared his thoughts on TAS’ latest production. He explained: ‘‘Dr Faustus was an easy choice. I fell in love with the play after reading it first time and I’ve always wanted to stage it. I had countless ideas on how to do it but never had the opportunity until I came to university.’’
He added: ‘‘The play itself allows so much room for interpretation. There are very few strict parameters a creative must follow in order to stage it. It’s the perfect play for actors and directors alike to enjoy creative freedom and for me, that was the main factor in motivating me to put on this play.’’
‘It’s the perfect play for actors and directors alike to enjoy creative freedom’
Given its age, I asked Ciaran why he thought Dr Faustus held relevance to theatre today, to which he responded: ‘‘I think it’s a play that is still as relevant today as when it was first performed in the 16th century. Greed, pride and lust for power are problems society still faces today, whether or not we are fully aware of it. That being said, we have chosen to update it for modern day. Samuel and I thought it would be interesting to add a corporate twist to the plot, which in turn adds a whole new dimension to the play.’’
Finally, I asked Ciaran if there are any characters we should look forward to: ‘‘The Seven Deadly Sins are quite the spectacle. That’s all I can say.’’
So, if you enjoy a good morality plot, physical theatre and or spectacle in general, Dr Faustus is the play for you! Dr Faustus is playing at The Lakeside Theatre February 8th-9th.