‘O, Faustus, they are come
to fetch away thy soul!’
Doctor Faustus sits in his Wittenberg study, restless for knowledge and frustrated with the limitations of conventional scholarship. Coveting fame and power, he conjures the menacing demon, Mephistopheles, who offers Faustus a deal: in exchange for twenty-four years of supreme power and service from the demon, Faustus must sacrifice his immortal soul to a fiery Hell.
The Devil’s deal is signed in blood and Faustus’ powers elevate him to unrivalled notoriety as he travels the world performing wonders. Yet as time ticks on and Faustus’ final hour of reckoning approaches, the true cost of his bargain becomes an all too certain reality.
As cautionary now as when it was written, Marlowe’s poetic masterwork explores the very nature of human curiosity and our unparalleled thirst for knowledge. It also begs the question: what are we prepared to sacrifice in the pursuit of power?
In our first festival of the season, we will explore early modern and modern responses to the themes of power and corruption.
Ambitious Fiends runs November 2018 – February 2019 and includes Macbeth, Doctor Faustus, Dark Night of the Soul and Ralegh: The Treason Trial.