Yet along comes eager young academic Faustus, fingers working with nervous enthusiasm for knowledge. Having searched the orthodox books on his desk, Faustus drags the necromantic volumes from under Mephastophilis's chair. When the devil reappears, he is a large, louring, gravel-voiced butler from hell, his fatalistic steadiness of pace a contrast to Faustus' matter-of-fact impatience to sign the deed. It is a stark contrast of experience and innocence.
Advantages of Sissons's approach include the sense of time travelled Elizabethan Faustus grows old as a cavalier, finally being stripped of his finery and the smooth elisions between scenes, such as Faustus' immediate transition from his angry "what do you take me for?" to the horse dealer to the sad "What art thou Faustus but a man?" Then there's the haunting and chilling sound world created by violin, singing and live sound effects, evoking the sorrows and torments of Faustus' mind as of hell itself.
Runs 2 hours 5 minutes. Touring until June 14. Details: 0114 275 5328