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.