May 12, 2014, by Fraser
“The ultimate story of good versus evil” — Dr Faustus at Lakeside
Director Martin Berry describes his latest production Dr Faustus as “the ultimate story of good versus evil”. And so, if you’ve already seen Amazing Spider-Man 2, that’s a pretty exciting prospect.
Dr Faustus is a very successful man, but he’s also doomed by his own greed and ambition. That’s why he makes a pact with the devil – 24 years of unimaginable power courtesy of Lucifer’s middleman Mephistopheles in return for his damnation into hell when the time’s up.
And what a 24 years Faustus has – he even summons up ultimate totty Helen of Troy to take a good look at the most beautiful woman the world has ever seen. So, despite the pending damnation and all that stuff, there are laughs in there too.
Students and pros
As if the whole deal with the devil thing in Faustus isn’t enough to go on, there’s added intrigue courtesy of the University of Nottingham’s student-run New Theatre. The play is a collaboration between the professionals at Lakeside and the students, in terms of both off and on stage roles.
But if you’re hoping for a shambles, you’ll be disappointed. This is the second year that they’ve joined forces after the success of comedy Lysistrata in 2013. The Post called it “a hugely enjoyable satirical comedy”. In fact, the students are so good, Martin says it’s hard to pick out the pros.
“If anything students bring more to the table in terms of ideas and passion than some of the seasoned pros. Clearly the project is a steep learning curve for them, but boy have they learned a huge amount and have put that into practice alongside their pre-existing passions and commitment.
“We learned a lot from last year’s experience on Lysistrata and have been able to do even more in terms of production values, rehearsal work and shadowing opportunities. I love working with young people and Nottingham University seems to produce some amazing actors!”
Indeed, there’s Ruth Wilson from Luther and Divergent’s Theo James to name just two of the University’s more successful thespians. And, who knows, maybe the next Theo James will be on the Lakeside stage as Faustus or Mephistopheles all next week?
Book your tickets
Dr Faustus is at Lakeside Arts Centre, University Park, from Monday 12 to Saturday 17 May at 7.30pm, with 2pm matinee performance on the Saturday. Tickets are £12, £10 concessions. For more information, visit lakesidearts.org.uk.