Sunday, November 02, 2008

Faust at Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre

On Oct 26, I was at the final show of the recent run of Goethe's Faust. I actually very much prefer Marlowe's version of the Faustus myth, but still enjoyed this show very much. As a text, Geothe's version is a bit melodramatic for my tastes (which is part of why I prefer Marlowe — what an amazing wit the man possessed!), but the actors did an excellent job of bringing the story to life. It was some of the best acting I have seen in a while.

The three main characters, Faust, Gretchen, and the devil, were wonderfully enacted, and the audience was clearly appreciative of the actors' skills. The play was a bit long, and slow at some parts, but these three made it work all the same. The ending was a beautiful montage involving these three actors, and I thought it to be one of the prettiest effects I have seen on the stage in a long time.

The choice to use traditional costume and sets might have made the play seem slower in parts than it had to. But, with the mix of some special effects for the Devil's tricks, and a hugely extravagant spectacle of dance and music appearing from time to time, it all worked out quite well. As with most shows I've seen at the Dramatic Arts Centre, this one was well done, and certainly worth the cost of admission.




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