Splendid Productions brought their adapted and abridged version of Dr Faustus to the QET, offering our Drama pupils a highly entertaining and instructive theatrical performance. The audience, composed mainly of GCSE and A-level Drama students, was greeted by three devils: Lucifer (Grace Goulding), Mephistopheles (Tanya Muchanyuka) and Beelzebub (Nick Crosbie). The trio conversed with the pupils, handed out cards, devil horns and even Haribo before the show had even begun.
Splendid Productions specialises in Brechtian technique, (making the audience a conscious critical observer), and this was evident from the outset as the characters repeatedly shattered the fourth wall, alternated between parts and used exaggerated and ridiculous physical mannerisms. They also frequently interacted with the pupils, often to much laughter and applause. The cast kept the audience fully involved for the entire hour and beyond, hopping between laugh-out-loud jesting and moving moments of high drama, with musical interludes scattered throughout.
During the Q&A period after the show, the pupils peppered the actors with questions, asking about their creative processes, their experiences on tour, what the show tries to achieve and even about Nick’s striking resemblance to Jack Whitehall.
The actors answered all the questions candidly, talking eloquently about the way in which they use the Brechtian techniques and physical and musical comedy to help deliver the play’s tragedy – that of Faustus’ selling his soul to the Devil for little reward.
The evening proved an excellent opportunity for the drama students to witness a masterclass from three highly talented performers and to dive into the techniques and processes which accompany professional theatre productions, all while having a good laugh.
Report by Mr Joe Roberts