I see that the Whatsonstage reviewer has given this the same kind of review that other reviewers have, in that he/she has decided that Jude Law can't be any good cos he is a star. Well, i want you to know that to me Jude law is no one because I do not know his other work. i saw a guy having a good go at the part with occassionally his voice going flat which betrayed a lack of voice work of the level we expect from our best stage performers. however the production was one of the very best attempts at seeing this paly afress that i have seen - a modern relevant production, stressing the effect of the mind and qusaetioning the real meaning of hell. McCabe of course fantastic - he is really a cracker and all the reat of the supporting cast superb. What a bout a bit of an opne mind then from this site - don't do the usual old cliche reaction please. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
07 May 02
Outstanding performances from Richard McCabe as Mephistophilis and Tom Smith in a range of roles. One notably poor performer (no names - it's so obvious who this is when you watch it, and I don't want to smear the poor man here) but a fine Faustus from Jude Law. I was gripped. If only he had the vocal strength to carry it off.
David Lan's production is deceptively imaginative. Extraordinary that anyone could call it 'pretentious', as it's simplicity itself! Richard Hudson's design is a million miles from his work on The Lion King, yet it's equally effective in its way: a traverse walkway over a pit of hot coals. Imaginative directorial ideas use the possibilities of the cast rather than show-stopping props to make their effect. The weaknesses (and there ARE weaknesses) all stem from the limp dramatic structure of the central part of the play itself. The Pope scene is embarrassing, as always, but we should blame Rowley rather than Marlowe for that.
Splendid physical work: some very satisfying mime, combined with some subtle points of interpretation. But how we need the climactic frisson of a 'real' Helen of Troy. Lan's much-tlked-about solution simply doesn't work. Did anyone else see Christopher Fettes' wonderful production at the Fortune Theatre about 20 years ago? He solved the Helen problem brilliantly. (That was a five-star job!)
Job - USER: Whatsonstage.com
16 Apr 02
As a young woman in her mid twenties I hold my hands up and shamelessly admit the initial draw to see this play was Jude Law - I expected to be impressed by his looks and fame but not necessarily by his or the supporting casts performance. In actuality Law held his own amongst a fantastically strong and diverse cast whilst conveying such powerful emotional abandon, reckless foolishness, and impact laden realisation possible.
Critics have suggested his lack of years and concluding hoarse vocal delivery detract from the weight of the role - I wholly disagree - the role requires a young actor and his wiry frame, soft tones, and agility on the stage replicate the role as it deserves to be seen. Whilst the set design from the Young Vic reeked of Drama Club school productions in its simplicity and budget - it enabled the production crew to personally show off their pure undiluted ingenuity with creative skills generated through an invigoration of new blood, passion, and a sharply refreshing humour.
This was my first Young Vic production and it will definitely not be my last - wonderful, powerful, intense entertainment illustrating that the dinosaurs of luvvie-theatre could learn a thing or two from the new blood manifesting in these less well known but by no means less impressive companies.
I can only hope that the birth of the Natural Nylon Theatre Company will encourage more non-theatre goers to appreciate, support and above all enjoy British productions.
- USER: Whatsonstage.com
15 Apr 02
Having waited 3 hours for a returned ticket I was expecting something excellent. On the whole the show was very good, I liked the costumes,Faustus and his 'human' contemporaries wore loosely period costumes but the metaphysical characters like Mephistophilis and the other devils wore more varied outfits. In particular Mr McCabe's costumes seemed to creep forward in time and become more and more red with each appearance, ending up in a smart red suit. There was no set, which is good, the props were excellent, although we did get tired of them being thrown off the stage. I was prepared to be harsh about Mr Law's performance but in fact I thought it was fine, it is not an enormous venue and I was in the back row but I heard every word and he didn't appear to be struggling. Mr McCabe is always excellent and the others supported admirably. I felt a little disappointed by the ending initially but when we thought about it Faustus has been fooled and deceived all along so fooling him about Helen is only to be expected. It is dramatically satisfying to see him dragged off to Hell but under Faustus' questioning Mephistophilis tells him 'Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it', so he has been in Hell all along, but now he knows it's for real. Good, but not the best show I've ever seen. Please spare a thought for the poor people in the returns queue if you can't go and return your tickets early!!!! - USER: Whatsonstage.com
14 Apr 02
I hated it too. A great waste of time. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
09 Apr 02
How dissapointing. very boring, and pretentious. Jude Law is very good though - USER: Whatsonstage.com
09 Apr 02
rubbish. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
09 Apr 02
I saw the production on Tuesday, the night Jude Law supposedly injured his knee. He looked ok to me. As for the production, it was quite good. Law was better than I thought, however, his voice is not strong enough for a classical role. Richard McCabe is a superb actor and he was very good as Mephistophiles. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
28 Mar 02
Went to an enjoyable production of Faustus this evening. It has changed a little since we first saw it in previews, the production now has an interval which helps the audience a little.
Jude Law is nicely arrogant though at times the text doesn't quite let you understand how Richard McCabe's Mephistophiles tempts Faustus so easily into selling his soul.
The cast seem to have gotten into the roles nicely and play off each other well, but McCabe does stand out from the rest; did I see a hint of longing from Mephistophiles towards Faustus, and perhaps this was why Mephistophiles wanted him to be damned?
The use of light (a devilish red in the audience) and the excellent staging make the production more interesting, as does when the cast dis-regard props over the edge of the stage.
- USER: Whatsonstage.com
28 Mar 02
Jude is the only good thing in this dull and pretentious evening. Nice design though,... a wonderful intimate theatre well used. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
13 Mar 02
Jude Law's performance is impressive - everyone knows he's not just a pretty face from his films, but he is so intense, I really did have to catch my breath - though not from his looks unfortunately! His acting is so focussed and precise, it's superb. He does go in for the "shout a lot" school of acting rather than controlled anger, but that's probably the character in his impetuous quest for knowledge. The stage is in the round, with the action on a long stage down the middle, though nearly all of the 2 hours 15 (no interval) is a long haul. The play focuses on Dr Fautus - 16th century Germany, where in his quest for knowledge about the universe and astonomy, he enters into a pact with the Devil. For 24 years of knowledge and pleasure he agrees to eternal damnation. However, the play is a bit weak as the comedy (from the other characters) clashes a bit with his intense speeches which are sometimes a bit rambling. You also wonder what pleasure he gets - in a series of scenes, he consorts with the 7 deadly sins, plays tricks on the pope and shows magic to the king. He tries to repent but at the end of the 24 years, is taken by Mephostipholies (sp?) to the Devil. I'd be interested to see what the reviews say in a week or so. If you've seen Jude angry in Wilde, or those scenes in Talented Mr Ripley fighting in the boat - that's the kind of anger you get to see. I'd recommend it, for the sheer intensity of it all though the great lighting and sound make it v dramatic, rather than the acting from all of the cast. Only Annette Badland in a variety of roles stands out - the suppert is a bit average. I think though the whole run is sold out - see www.youngvic.org.uk and check with the box office for returns. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
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