Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre launches its new Autumn – Winter 10 / 11 Season with Christopher Marlowe’s classic tragedy Doctor Faustus next month.

This new production features a sumptuous set, spectacular stage illusions and one of the biggest groups of performers ever seen on the Exchange stage - a 12-strong cast plus an ensemble of 24 drama students recruited from Manchester Metropolitan University.

The play tells the compelling story of eminent scholar Faustus. Weary of academic study, his insatiable appetite for knowledge and power leads him to sign a pact in his own blood with the Devil. He is granted everything he desires for 24 years but is followed by the shadow of his infernal bargain as the clock ticks down to his final damnation.

The production is directed by guest director Toby Frow whose recent credits include Speaking In Tongues (Duke Of York’s) a national tour of Pride and Prejudice and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Salisbury Playhouse).

Patrick O’Kane – who plays Doctor Faustus – has previous RET credits which include Whistle In The Dark, Unindentified Human Remains And The True Nature Of Love  and Miss Julie. His many television and film credits include Holby Blue, Wire In The Blood and Stealing Rembrandt.

Ian Redford - playing Mephistopheles – has previously appeared at the Royal Exchange in Antigone as Creon, for which he received a Manchester Evening News Award nomination. Other recent theatre credits include Romeo and Juliet and All My Sons (The Curve, Leicester). On television he best known for his role as Keith Appleyard in Coronation Street.

The cast also includes Gwendoline Christie, Jamie de Courcey, David Hobbs, Stephen Hudson, Gavin Marshall, Coral Messam, Ian Midlane, Dyfrig Morris, Rory Murphy and Jonathan Tafler.

Set and costumes have been designed by Ben Stone and the creative team is completed by Mark Jonathan (lighting), Richard Hammarton (Composer and Sound), Darren Lang (Magic Consultant) and Andy
Rogers
(Assistant Director).

Doctor Faustus runs at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester from 8 September until 9 October.