• Anthea Isaac

The Journey To Hell With “Dr. Faustus”

As Aristotle mentions Tragedy to be the supreme genre to be staged, I couldn’t agree more after watching Dr. Faustus live few days ago. The Maverick Theatre crew of The American College staged the ever fascinating play of Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus. The sowing seeds of temptation and greed, and reaping fruits of pain and punishment has been a prime saying in everyone’s life. And with Dr. Faustus, the story dwells deeper and darker.

Being a literature student and drama enthusiast, I always made sure to act and watch as many plays as possible.  Receiving a WhatsApp invitation for the year’s annual play of The American College from my senior was more than enough to keep me hyped for the upcoming weeks. On 19th of February, the day arrived and after few minutes of wait, I walked into the main hall with surprisingly unexpected high expectations. We were indeed greeted by the mini bouncers of AMC tagged as volunteers leading us to our respected seats. The entire play was way more close to my heart as the executive director, Mr. Dinakar sir, whom I lovingly call uncle and the director, my Abinaya akka were the strongest pillars in making this show possible.


Dr. Faustus

Packed with my college mates and school students the hall was busy with a buzz but was soon silenced as the windows and doors were sealed. The pitch black room was soon lighted up as the flash light spotted four choristers preparing the audience for the upcoming excellence. As the curtains spread wide, the man of the show, Dr. Faustus was in his chamber contemplating his believes and curiosity for black magic and we know exactly what lies ahead.


The Fight between Good and Evil

The play followed with characters shaded in white and black (Good angel, Bad angel, believer and non-believer Scholars) as it is the protagonist’s choice to make. Anyway, Doctor opens the doors of hell to invite Mephistopheles into his life. Trust me, nobody would be as happy and receptive as we in welcoming the devil with huge applause and praises. The Maleficent and Lucifer we admired from movies and poems are long gone, as Mephistopheles stays prominent in the hearts of many after watching The Maverick Theatre’s Dr. Faustus. With massive lightings and sound triggering us with terror, no one could help but be enchanted and thrilled to expect what comes next. The tragedy gets a little uplifted as the Clown and Wagner take over the stage to delight us. Another sumptuous event takes place, as the king of Hell, Lucifer ascends from Hell. The royalty and riches spread the entire space as the seven deadly sins take their human form to entertain and tempt the hero into a darker pit.


Dr. Faustus with Mephistopheles

As we sympathies with John Faustus, the play pauses for few minutes as the choristers sing a tune to alarm us about the heading fall of the hero. The curtains open again to a different setting arranged for a posh dinning. The notion gets lighter as Faustus and Mephistopheles gets to play petit tricks on the Pope and his followers during the feast. The monotonous giggles and chuckles kept the ambiance busy for the actors stood out in bringing out good humour in every little gesture they made. The pleasant mood continues as Faustus gets to meet the King and still stay mischievous with his powers while bringing horns to a knight’s head. Who wouldn’t fall in love with the duo now?


The Seven Deadly Sins

Years roll and the vibrant hero grow old, which means the clock is ticking. Yet, his likings for pranks never stop as the horse of hay, becomes one of his final pranks before the end. The play shifts to a sadder tone, as Faustus begins to regret his wrong decision. He gets to meet the Helen of Troy and also his friends to bids his last goodbye in pain. The most crucial climax builds up the tension of the audience, as we were in the corner of our seats praying to redeem Faustus. But our prayers were late, as Mephistopheles returns to take his soul. Staying half seated our sympathy became empathy as we watched our own soul sucked out in pain. The scream, the pain, the despair kept us dumb founded as the fallen angel walk in to flash his broken wings.


The crucial Climax

The end? Already? Yes, it was, as the cast walked in to thank and bid their goodbyes. The entire crowd stood in unison to give their fullest applause and made sure the actors and backstage crew know what they have done to us. Yes, it was a jaw dropping show.

To be frank, I ended up watching the play for three times and would love to continue if possible. As a dramatist and a viewer, I could hardly spell a word other than AMAZING and watching few known faces do wonders up there felt like a privilege. I am happy that I didn’t miss out this beautiful show. The crew’s dedicated hard work and togetherness made this marvel happen, as they say “Hard work is another name for miracle.” From daunting sound effects, flashy lightings, eye catchy properties, sharp coordination and breathtaking acting, they made it happen! And I am one of those thousands, who was bestowed with such richness.


The Maverick Theater Crew

If you missed the play, I am gonna tease you for your loss. If you are one among the crew, I just want to say that you did AMAZING and this is from the bottom of my heart! Thank you!

Have a good one!

#DrFaustus #TheAmericanCollege #TheMaverickTheater

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