Doctor Faustus at Duke of York's Theatre tickets
Doctor Faustus at Duke of York's Theatre tickets

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Overview

Game of Thrones star Kit Harington starred as the wild and enigmatic titular role in an entirely revamped production of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. Jamie Lloyd directed the 400 year-old play, with the addition of new darkly comic scenes from Colin Teevan, which revitalised the production and brought the text firmly into the present.

Written in 1592, Doctor Faustus is widely and regularly performed in many different theatrical versions and follows the illustrious Faustus who makes a detrimental deal with the devil. Agreeing to swap his soul for the ability to practice black magic, Faustus becomes intoxicated with a world of fame, fortune and infidelity. Reaching the heights as a famous conjuror, the devil reappears in a bid to make him pay the price for his insatiable greed. Lloyd’s revival of the classic text brought the world into the present day, examining our current celebrity-obsessed society of self-indulgence and instant gratification.

Kit Harington shot to fame having played the brooding Jon Snow in the hit HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, but previously appeared onstage in the original casts of the National Theatre’s War Horse and the Royal Court’s Posh. He has since gone on to appear in several films, including Pompeii, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, Testament of Youth and has voiced How to Train Your Dragon 2. Doctor Faustus marked Harington’s highly anticipated return to the West End.

Featuring design by Lloyd’s regular collaborator Soutra Gilmour, the production included lighting by Jon Clark and music and sound design by Ben and Max Ringham. Following the success of Lloyd’s star-studded revivals of The Homecoming and The Maids, Doctor Faustus was yet another sinisterly gripping production that has been enthralling audiences.

Recommended for

Fans of Game of Thrones and Kit Harington had the opportunity to see him perform in a similarly brooding role, but this time with a very sinister twist. Those who love Marlowe’s classic text were enthralled by this modernised production.

Age Recommendations: Recommended 16+ (Due to nudity, scenes of sexual violence & themes of an adult nature)

Dates and times

Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Opened: 09 Apr 2016
Press night: 21 Apr 2016
Booking from: 25 Jun 2016
Booking until: 25 Jun 2016

Location and map

Duke of York's Theatre
St Martin's Lane
London, WC2N 4BG

98 Reviews Add review

Doctor Faustus Location: Duke Of York’s Theatre Date Seen: Saturday 14th May Seen With: 1 Friend Understudies at This Performa... More

zh14 1.7m, 60 reviews, 21 helpful votes

Doctor Faustus Location: Duke Of York’s Theatre Date Seen: Saturday 14th May Seen With: 1 Friend Understudies at This Performance: Gabby Wong as Mephistopheles Summary Jamie Lloyd has taken Christopher Marlowe’s text with the insertion of new modern scenes by Colin Teevan to reflect the present view of celebrity and how Faustus uses his new study to gain a celebrity life. I had wanted to see the show when it was advertised, but only when a friend said she was going and asked if I wanted to join did I decide to go. Unlike some of the audience who clearly went for the draw if Kit Harington (squeals like that from the girl sitting next to me let out when he appeared), she wanted to see it mainly because she studied the play at school and my curiousity had peaked following many damning reviews. Acting Overall, the acting was diverse, erratic and passionate which really reflected the ongoing turmoil of Faustus on whether he should continue down the path of damnation or repent. At times the acting was beautifully grotesque clearly demonstrating the actor’s commitment to their art. Kit Harington’s Faustus was engaging and passionate and Gabby Wong’s Mephistopheles was beautifully understated and bewitching. Music & Songs The production uses music and sound effects throughout to set the darkness and madness of this piece. It works well without being overwhelming or detracting from the acting. Choreography There are some movement pieces within this show which are I interpreted to reflect a further descent into madness and hell by exploring time using different speeds of motion. Direction For the most part, the director did a good job, particularly with the ensemble and their presence on stage as spirits throughout. This was particularly evident with Forbes Masson’s Lucifer who was present from the moment Faustus contemplates studying necromancy. His movements were subtle so every time you looked back he had contorted to another shape. However the director’s choice to have Wagner as a female character seemed lost in this production. The use of her as a love interest to Faustus and rival to Mephistopheles felt like a distraction to the main plot. Some of the new modern scenes also fell flat with a lack of conviction and meaning behind the dialogue, however that said, for the most part they did work to great visual effect. Set/Lighting The lighting was best used for the seven deadly sins with clever changes of lighting for each of the different sins and enforced the actor’s portrayal of them. Overall, the lighting was fairly dark throughout however got noticeable darker as Faustus got closer to handing his soul over to Lucifer. The set was for the most part a modern studio flat like arrangement. The actual construction of the set was very clever with it constructed in modular sections that moved around throughout to convey different spaces as Faustus and Mephistopheles travelled the work. Costumes The costumes vary in this production including nudity and the spirits are mostly dressed in dirty undergarments. They are fairly grotesque which is fitting with the staging of the piece throughout. Stand Out Performances Kit Harington as Doctor Faustus – reviews from opening night were not overly favourable for Harington however I disagreed with some comments that he could not hold Marlowe’s text. He has obviously grown into the role and his journey from curiosity to damnation was Tom Edden as the Good Angel – for me it was his performance as the seven deadly sins that was the best moment of this piece as it showcased his versatility in the best possible way. Rapid changes between physicality’s with full commitment meant it was one of the biggest talking points for me and my friend when we reflected on the show afterwards. Show to Show Comparisons My comparison here as that Kit Harington didn’t fare well in the initial reviews, and my recent review of Romeo & Juliet was only of the second performance. Kit Harington has clearly found his footing in this role and I would hope this is a reflection of star names in Romeo and Juliet at The Garrick as there the dialogue controlled some of the actors rather than it feeling organic. Would I Recommend? Yes if you want to see a different take of the classic text. However any purists of Marlowe’s original text will probably want to avoid. Overall Verdict (Out of 5 Stars): 4 Stars – despite my certain dislikes of gender changes of characters, I genuinely enjoyed this production and what was done with the piece hence my high rating. My full review can also be found on the blog: http://zeatre.blogspot.co.uk

zh14 1.7m, 60 reviews, 21 helpful votes

The show was really great. Modern, very expressionistic, raw and in your face, if not to say a little crazy. Very enjoyable. I per... More

contactannagentilini 5"3, 1 review, 0 helpful votes

The show was really great. Modern, very expressionistic, raw and in your face, if not to say a little crazy. Very enjoyable. I personally am not quite sure the mix of modern setting mixed well with Marlowe's original text at the very beginning (because it kind of left Faustus' motif a little obtuse). But after the first scene, the language and action changed to a more modern perspective that fit the setting. I think they could have done a better job with mixing the original text with the modern interpretation. However, it was all in all very enjoyable and a very "german" production (meaning there is a lot of nudity, sexual situations, rape, violence and gunk thrown around... Which I personally really enjoyed). Also if you are a fan of Kit Harington you are absolutely going to enjoy this. He is a great actor with great physicality....not to mention that he walks around in his undies for half of the play (and he is rather very nice to look at). All in all I am very glad I went to see it.

contactannagentilini 5"3, 1 review, 0 helpful votes

Doctor Faustus is the age old story we all know, even if we don't quite know how. In this production, the selling of the soul to t... More

jacknicmusic 5"12, 29 reviews, 27 helpful votes

Doctor Faustus is the age old story we all know, even if we don't quite know how. In this production, the selling of the soul to the devil transports the script into 2016, with David Cameron references and all, hopping back for a traditional finale. Perhaps Kit Harrington is a little stiff but the direction flows and the pace is well executed, especially welcome for much of the audience who may be visiting the theatre for the first time.

jacknicmusic 5"12, 29 reviews, 27 helpful votes

My main reason for booking tickets was to see Jon Snow alive and well, but the second I walked into the theatre, I was intrigued b... More

christierney777 5"9, 142 reviews, 1 helpful vote

My main reason for booking tickets was to see Jon Snow alive and well, but the second I walked into the theatre, I was intrigued by the dark, red lighting and heavy metal blaring from the speakers. I watched the play with an open mind, as did my father next to me. Kit Harington and Jenna Russell stole the show as Faustus and Mephistopheles, I admit that one of the let downs for me was the use of unnecessary nudity which was very awkward for my Dad and I. But overall I found the play dark, hilarious and thought provoking.

christierney777 5"9, 142 reviews, 1 helpful vote

As always when Jamie Lloyd is involved in a project, it was simply awesome! Good adaptation of a great classic, awesome cast, in... More

natlecoq 160cm, 23 reviews, 0 helpful votes

As always when Jamie Lloyd is involved in a project, it was simply awesome! Good adaptation of a great classic, awesome cast, incredible set (that allowed you, from where I was seated, to partly see behind-the-scenes of Duke of York's as at times, the sides of the set weren't occupying the whole space. And... even the music was carefully chosen to fit the theme of the play. Awesome!

natlecoq 160cm, 23 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I wasn't sure before we went whether I would enjoy this as it had been mauled by critics, but I actually really enjoyed it. I tho... More

mikeharps 6 reviews, 1 helpful vote

I wasn't sure before we went whether I would enjoy this as it had been mauled by critics, but I actually really enjoyed it. I thought there was going to be more younger people there (with Kit Harington as the draw)but it was a pretty mixed audience who were very appreciative at the end. Beware it has nudity, bad language, gore and Kit gets most of his kit off (much to my wife's delight!)

mikeharps 6 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Brace yourself for Doctor Faustus engaging in the baseness of human nature! A fantastic new interpretation and both Kit Harington ... More

ionagresty 15 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Brace yourself for Doctor Faustus engaging in the baseness of human nature! A fantastic new interpretation and both Kit Harington as Faustus and Jenna Russell as a female Mephistopheles were amazing!

ionagresty 15 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Totally in awe of this show! Was a bit unsettling in parts and the nudity was a bit cringey in places but an amazing cast Funn... More

janelombard 1 review, 0 helpful votes

Totally in awe of this show! Was a bit unsettling in parts and the nudity was a bit cringey in places but an amazing cast Funny and moving, highly original ... Absolutely loved it!

janelombard 1 review, 0 helpful votes

An intriguing show. The basis of the show is very haunting and enticing, the adaptation is a little violent and erotic for no app... More

jade18 5'3, 51 reviews, 3 helpful votes

An intriguing show. The basis of the show is very haunting and enticing, the adaptation is a little violent and erotic for no apparent reason but it is still an excellent production.

jade18 5'3, 51 reviews, 3 helpful votes