Doctor Faustus is Coming to Shakespeare’s Globe!
I wished for it, and my wish has come true: the Hell Mouth is open for business!
No, Buffy fans, not the one in Sunnydale. I mean the one in London! Christopher Marlowe’s blockbuster Doctor Faustus is getting a little airtime this summer as Shakespeare’s Globe continues to march through a seriously unexpected catalogue of greats.
And great it is! Okay, weird, but still great. Faustus wasn’t likely performed before Marlowe’s death in 1593, but it appears in theater impresario Philip Henslowe’s diary in 1594 as a box-office smash. It was performed regularly by the Admiral’s Men, then published for the first time in 1601.
The genuinely unusual play follows the conjurations of the young scholar Faustus, who is on the brink of completing his studies at Wittenberg when he decides the natural sciences are just not sexy enough and begins to dabble in the infernal arts. Before long, the crafty doctor has himself a demonic tour guide through history and time and more sassy doings than a degree program could ever imagine. And that Hell Mouth? Well, it was a trap door through which the demons and devils could emerge and do their little hellish dances for Faustus. I sure do hope the modern Globe is cracking that puppy open when their Faustus premieres June 18 (for the first time ever!)because that’s got to be a wonder when you’re a groundling.
The show runs through October 2, so you should be able to see it long after the summer hoards have gone home. If you want to see it now or then, check out the website for info (and totally uninspiring pictures). You can also check out some pre-show lectures, if you need to brush up on your Marlowe.