Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus” (Graeme Forbes)

There was a fairly intimate group for the reading of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus by Canterbury Branch of the Paper Stage. It is always a pleasure to have the local lad’s words creeping the paper boards at the Public Reading in the Gulbenkian Cafe. One surprise of the night was how well the doubling up of parts managed to work. One needn’t have more than a company of 10 to stage the play well.

Rosemary Walters gave a tour de force as Faustus – it was clear she enjoyed having a part she could sink her teeth into. There are also quite a few small parts that people could inject character into, including such luminaries as the Pope, and the seven deadly sins. Representing Sloth, or Avarice using only the timbre of one’s voice is the sort of creative opportunity that is, for me, the highlight of the paper stage. There is also the opportunities for mischief; the part of the horse-courser was read as a hoarse horse-coarser. I should warn you however, to check how many lines a part has before committing to such a comic turn.


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