Ton und Kirschen Wandertheater, Dr Faustus

Review in Issue 12-3 | Autumn 2000

Ton und Kirschen (‘Clay and Cherries’) are an international travelling troupe whose collaborative creations admirably reflect the influences of Footsbarn, Sartori and Lecoq. In addition, for this show, the puppetry clearly shows the hand of the Sicilian maestro Mimmo Cuticchio. The directors are Margarete Biereye and David Johnston, who together perform this shortened, open-air version of the Marlowe classic.

The production mixes mask, mime, commedia, imaginative props and puppetry with most of Marlowe’s text to make a popular, entertaining form of the tragic history which sweeps us faster and faster along the downward slope to Faustus’ ruin. There are some wonderfully theatrical effects, such as the fierce fires of hell which rage behind the devils who emerge to drag Faust to his damnation. Elements of fear and the demonic are effectively portrayed throughout – in the imagery of the masks (excellently designed by Josephine Hayter) and the contorted physicality of the devils. Mephistopheles convinces totally of his otherness. Here is a deeply tortured soul played by a genuinely gifted and original actor, Mahommed El Hassouni.

By contrast, in the cutting of the text and the casting of the part, a lightweight, youthful Faustus is endowed with boyish curiosity more than an intent to plumb the depths of the unknown. There were other weaknesses as well, mainly in some of the voices. But on the whole I thoroughly enjoyed the vitality and invention of the performance.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-3
p. 26