Thursday, March 23, 2006

Faust Part One

Right, time to move on.

BondBloke and I are in the middle of attending the new adaptation and production of Faust Parts One and Two at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. This is a production which has been extremely well received by critics in the local and the national press (see here, and here and here), mainly receiving four and five star grades, if that is the type of thing which impresses you. I think I could safely say that neither BB nor I are particularly the "theatre type". Generally, we would prefer the cinema (which is usually but not always a less emotionally demanding, if not to say cheaper, medium), or - in BB's case if not mine - the opera.

I'm glad we've made an exception for this. It's a visually and aurally stunning performance of a well known tale, given a distinctive contemporary dramatic edge. It's certainly lewd and in-yer-face, and there some who would undoubtedly be offended by that. I guess it is meant to shock, at a certain level, but also to make us ask questions about the banality, and sometimes the banal violence, of our relations with others and with our environment. Some might consider some of the references and imagery (e.g. the criticism of the language of learning objectives and module descriptors) to be a little closed. Appropriate in a university city, perhaps, but maybe not likely to travel effectively to all parts of the known theatrical universe. That is a minor quibble, however.

I studied Faust in the original when I was in my first year at University more years ago than I can recall. This bold reworking of the original, while faithful to the underlying issues of the nature of the soul, of goodness (and badness), and the banality of existence, far exceeds what my limited literary imagination derived from Goethe's language. I'm looking forward to Part Two on Friday - after which I hope that BB might give you his views.


Blogger The Blind-Winger Jones said...

That's funny I've just sold my old University copy of Faust on Ebay today and I was scanning through the text before I packaged it. I was struck by just how relevant and contemporary it was.

Sounds like an interesting production.

Thursday, March 23, 2006  

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