I find it quite amusing that the current production of Christopher Marlowe’s classic Doctor Faustus is playing at Shakespeare’s Globe, because I like to imagine the misters M and S (not to be confused with M&S) as terrible rivals who spat whenever they heard the other one’s name, reviled at the very thought of him. So Marlowe would be like WTF give me my own theatre for my plays; they’re just as important! Spoiler: they aren’t. I’m sorry and I really feel for Rupert Everett in Saving Private Shakespeare but Chris’s works do not have the everlasting genius or impact that Billy’s have. His Doctor Faustus was written in the late 1500s right before he died, and it seems more like a last-ditch effort to show the gods that he agrees that hell is bad oh please don’t send me there, instead of it being interesting dramatically. There’s no emotional journey or impact or sense of consequences – even though it’s about being doomed to hell. It’s pretty surprising that literally the biggest stakes imaginable appear so humdrum. This production has attempted to liven things up by employing the hottest production ploy of the season – switching the gender of the lead role – but it adds nothing.
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