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Network Theatre Company presents

Dr Faustus: 20 to 23 February and 27 February to 02 March 2013

by Christopher Marlowe / Dramaturged and Directed by Bernie C. Byrnes

Dr Faustus
Performances: Wednesday 20 February 2013 to Saturday 23 February 2013 - 7.30pm (Doors 7pm)
Performances: Wednesday 27 February 2013 to Saturday 02 March 2013 - 7.30pm (Doors 7pm)
Running time: 1 hour 15 minutes plus a 20 minute interval

We will be holding Q&A sessions with the director and production team on the following performance dates at the times shown. These have been arranged for our student audiences but are open to any ticket holder.

  • Friday 22 February 2013 at 6.30pm before the show
  • Wednesday 27 February 2013 at 6.30pm before the show and again after the show at approx. 9.15pm
  • Thursday 28 February 2013 at 6.45pm before the show and again after the show at approx. 9.15pm

Are you predestined to come? Will you choose to? Or will you throw a six to start?

Marlowe’s classic morality play, of a hero gone bad, is reinterpreted and directed by Bernie C. Byrnes. Did our hero choose his own way or was his destiny predetermined? If we are all truly damned, what point is there in being good?

In London in the 70’s against a backdrop of IRA bombings, eminent physician Dr Faustus despairs at the lottery of death and destruction. He damns the law, science and God and seeks power and riches through black magic. Faustus dices with the devil and strikes a bargain for ultimate power in exchange for his soul.

Four and twenty years of absolute power and corruption later, as we reach the new millennium, the devil collects from Faustus. But man still struggles with his place in the universe, religious troubles continue to dominate the news, and random bombings lend an air of chance to any journey.

Review 1:

"Having never seen Dr Faustus performed before, I was curious as to how this old morality play would be interpreted for a 2013 audience – how does one put Lucifer and the seven deadly sins on stage so that it says something to “an increasingly secular society” without sounding like an outdated piece? Well, firstly, you put Dr Faustus in an episode of CSI as he tries to revive the victim of some terrible incident (in full protective onesie and all). Meanwhile, the rest of the injured lie around screaming while the patient dies in his hands. This is the final straw that initiates his descent from the good and moral world. If it's all gone to hell anyway, what does it matter if the devil has your soul, right? In a post-riot London, it is an eerie and dreary point that leaps all too poignantly from the stage.

Next, make Lucifer and Beelzebub two schoolkids, turning school into hell with a precociously malicious ring leader and then cement Dr Faustus' conversion to the devil by making him a plastic surgeon. Then allow him to form cosmetic procedures on the seven deadly sins - pride gets a nose job, gluttony gets liposuction etc - a modern translation which nicely captured all the humour that belies an essentially depressing and alarming script.

The cast had a solid grasp of the language of the play and its interpretation, allowing for clear and cohesive storytelling. This easily guided the audience through the plot and its nuances, despite the unfamiliar sounding language...a bold, provocative and relevant interpretation of Marlowe’s dramatic classic." - Everything Theatre Review

Review 2:

"This stripped down adaptation of Dr Faustus by Bernie C. Byrnes provides a refreshing, visually spectacular take on what could be a text-heavy classic. It takes talent in stage craft, choreography and design, all of which Byrnes has in abundance, to pull off such a feat. Although credit must be given to the brilliant Nigel Williams (Dr Faustus) and magnetic Alistair Callcutt (Mephistopheles), it is the company as a whole (the chorus working together, breathing together as slaves to their master) that inject life into this piece. It takes balls of steel, the precision of a sculptor and a deep understanding of the text to deliver a slimline, modern adaptation, which works and boy this does. Original (Lucifer is a school girl, Mephistopheles is a camp devil), relevant and contemporary (in a world of bombings, boob jobs and body obsession), this Network Production is a triumph."


Production Dates:

Reading: Saturday 06 October 2012 at 2pm - Free
Audition: Monday 08 October 2012 at 7pm - Free
Audition: Wednesday 10 October at 7pm - Free
Performances: Wednesday 20 February 2013 to Saturday 23 February 2013 - 7.30pm (Doors 7pm)
Performances: Wednesday 27 February 2013 to Saturday 02 March 2013 - 7.30pm (Doors 7pm)
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