Well, I don't know about that. The last time I wrote about the replica theatre called 'Shakespeare's Globe' (just in case of confusion with anyone else's), it was about getting there, rather than about the rather flaky performance of 'The Danish Play', which frankly is too packed with quotations for its own good.
So this time, it's going to be about the actual play. 'Doctor Faustus', by his so-called rival Christopher Marlowe. I was dreading it. I kind of assumed, (not knowing anything much about Marlowe other than that he was murdered on some river steps in Deptford, possibly by the KGB, this gleaned from a half-remembered Anthony Burgess novel), that it was going to be a bit of a slog. The legend of Faust - sell your soul and body to the devil for twenty-five years and then take the hit - well, it isn't exactly a Dan Brown plotline, is it?
As usual, I'd failed to take into account that plays only really work when they are staged and acted. Why didn't they teach us that at school? We spent countless hours force-reading this stuff on the page, failing to make any sense of it at all. I now know that that wasn't my fault - the teachers didn't really understand their material. If I was writing my ideal EngLit curriculum (ha ha, as if), I'd start with 'Don't let a child read a play until s/he has seen it performed', and take it from there.
Anyway, on the stage, it was a romp. High comedy, both verbal and slapstick, scary beasts and spirits and politicians and priests (the Pope was definitely modelled on Peter Cook's cameo in 'The Princess Bride'), and even the tragic ending (can you guess what happens?) was just precisely overacted.
Can't wait for the next one.