FAUST – German Studies Theatre Trip

German students and lectures

On Thursday, 16th March 2017, our first and second year German Studies students went to see FAUST X2 at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury.

The play provided an interesting mix of Goethe’s and Marlowe’s versions of the tragedy of Dr Faust, whose unsettling story has fascinated and shocked readers and theatre enthusiasts throughout the centuries.

Heinrich Faust, a genius and scholar, is driven by never-ending need to stimulate the senses and experience the unknown. Consequently, he becomes a very powerful wizard and is able to summon spirits and demons who obey him and  fulfill his dreams. Eventually, he summons the strongest of all, Mephisto. Mephisto – the devil himself – is willing to form a pact with the greedy scholar but not without a prize. If Mephisto wins the love of Gretchen – the most innocent and beautiful women who ever treaded the earth, he will receive Faust’s soul in exchange. Faust willingly agrees and so the tragedy begins.

Ian Diarmid played a fabulous, tormented Faust, who has been rarely presented as the old man which he would have considered during the time
when the story was written.

He is supported by Jacques Miche as a cunning Mephisto who allows Faust to use his body as an alter ego, and Daisy Fairclough who convincingly plays the innocent maid Gretchen that suffers a lethal fall from grace by falling for Faust’s desires.

Intriguing music and sound effects added to a very exciting theatre experience for students and staff alike. Overall, it was a very successful and fascinating evening.

Chris Flach – Award for extraordinary enthusiasm in engaging with and supporting MLES.

JackChris Flach, Second year student of Law with Legal Studies in Europe and German Studies, was awarded for his extraordinary enthusiasm in engaging with and supporting the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies. Throughout his two years at Reading, he showed his enormous interest, dedication and commitment for the German language in particular and the Department as a whole by promoting Modern Languages as a student ambassador, being involved in Outreach and Teach meet events, creating a departmental video workshop, playing a leading role in the German Drama Group and being actively engaged in all other extracurricular events and activities of German Studies. The Department has highly appreciated his outstanding support and is wishing him the best of luck for his year abroad at the University of Trier in Germany.