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Doctor Faustus - The Rose Playhouse, Bankside

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

TO MARK the 450th anniversary of the birth of Christopher Marlowe, a fresh and innovative adaptation of Marlowe’s notorious tale, Doctor Faustus, is about to cast its disturbing and terrifying shadow over The Rose Playhouse, Bankside, where it was first performed 420 years ago.

The infamous legend of the man who sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for 24 years of knowledge and power has never lost its ability to unsettle and shock.

In what is described as a fast and furious production, audiences enter the mind of a man who, through narcissism, ambition and fatal curiosity, finds himself staring into the mouth of Hell, as The Rose, Bankside once again awakens the Devil and his legion of fallen angels.

Doctor Faustus is directed by Martin Parr and performed by Christopher Staines.

Formerly an actor and now directing, Martin Parr’s credits include several Shakespeare productions, including a highly acclaimed Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet for the Rose last year, opera, musicals and new plays both in London, the UK and Europe.

Christopher Marlowe (baptised February 26, 1564 – 30 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. He and one-time room-mate Thomas Kyd were the leading writers of tragedies at the Rose and of their time, and a huge influence on the young Shakespeare. He is known for his magnificent blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his own mysterious and untimely death.

Established in 1587, The Rose Playhouse was Bankside’s first theatre. The Rose is an indoor archaeological site, therefore it is advisable to dress with an extra layer as there is no heating. There are also no toilets so audience members are advised to use Shakespeare’s Globe just a few hundred meters away.

Dates: February 4 to February 28, 2014.

Tickets: £12, £10 concessions. Southwark Residents £9 (with proof of address) – available from the box office on 020 7261 9565 or online at

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Sunday at 3pm.

Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (no interval).

The Rose Playhouse, Bankside, 56 Park Street, London, SE1 9AR