Faust/us @ Sweet
Faustus has received countless adaptations but attempting re-tell this classic tale in a one–man show is particularly ambitious in Faust/us. This is obviously, a simplified version of the play and large number of interesting elements of the classic text are necessarily omitted in order to facilitate the style of the performance.
Animation, projectors, lighting and physical theatre are used to good effect. Initially Faustus communicates with God and the Devil over the phone which is a nice twist. It also means the play can develop more dramatically as the two sides, although more notably Mephistopheles, make their ominous presence known.
Two spherical projectors behind our actor are cleverly interlaced with his narrative movements, varying from Pythonesque silliness to Japanese-style horror.
Faust/us effectively captures the terror the man himself feels. He also conveys the comedic fury of Mephistopheles in all his lyrical glory.
Our actor looks the part; he’s poised and doctor-like when himself, terrified and victimised when he ought to be and frighteningly ghastly when he’s the Devil.
The roles are played well and with a good deal of gusto, no easy feat. In the grip of evil, he contorts and wrestles with his clothing and there is a convincing sense of hellish turmoil until he is finally carried off to hell.
A convincing performance, if sometimes vague or clipped in its retelling of the classic tale.