Faust 1 & 2

Wednesday, 25 September, 1996

The play is in two parts here at the Barbican Pit and it is completely sold out. Because I was seeing "Seven streams.." which lasts eight hours I decided to see 'Faust 1', one week and 'Faust 2', the next. I'm glad I did because I needed to recover from part one!! Some of the scenes in this play are the most obscene I've ever seen on stage. There were men simulating masturbating with a dildo and another putting his mouth around the dildo. I am a very open minded person, and admit the scenes did not disturb me. However I felt a little uncomfortable amongst the audience who I'm sure like me was not expecting this. The Barbican did inform you before the play that there would be some nudity, but this was not nudity, but explicit sexual behaviour which I'm sure shocked a lot of people. In my opinion they went over the top.

The story though is superb, an entertaining play that moves very quickly from one scene to another. There is not a dull moment in the entire play, although the beginning of part two was a little slow to get started. There is everything in this drama, lust, passion, shocking scenes, singing, dancing , sadness and great acting backed with video and a lot of smoke and fireworks going off.

Hugh Quarshie who plays Mephistopheles is superb. I love his facial expressions, he portrays a personality of the character that you can really warm to, even though you shouldn't. Michael Feast performs well in the part of 'Faust', a demanding role he succeeds in.

The extra bonus with this play is you get two endings as well. First a victory for the devil and then they perform the ending again with a victory for good. Therefore everyone goes home happy!

(Darren Dalglish)

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