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Faustus: That Damned Woman - Lyric Hammersmith and Birmingham Repertory Theatre prior to UK tour

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

Headlong and the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre have announced that Faustus: That Damned Woman will premiere at the Lyric Hammersmith (January 22 to February 22) before playing at Birmingham Repertory Theatre (February 26 to March 7, 2020).

A new play from award-winning playwright and theatre maker Chris Bush (Standing at the Sky’s Edge), Faustus: That Damned Woman will then tour the UK, visiting Bristol Old Vic, Leeds Playhouse and Northern Stage in March and April 2020.

Drawing on the works of Marlowe, Goethe, and other versions of the Faustus myth, Bush’s urgent reimagining asks what we must sacrifice to achieve greatness and the legacy that we leave behind.

My name is Johanna Faustus. I was born almost four hundred years ago.
I gave my soul to achieve the impossible.
I watched this city grow sick and I swore to heal it.
I might be damned, but I would save the world to spite the Devil.

Faustus: That Damned Woman is the first work to be commissioned as part of Headlong and the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre’s long-term commitment to commissioning and producing work of scale by women playwrights.

Caroline Byrne directs this radical new work in which the iconic character of Faustus is reimagined as a woman who makes the ultimate sacrifice to traverse centuries and change the course of history.

The production has set design by Ana Inés Jabares-Pita, costume design by Line Bech, lighting design by Richard Howell, sound and composition design by Giles Thomas, and video and projection design by Ian William Galloway. Casting director is Annelie Powell CDG.

Chris Bush is an award-winning playwright, lyricist and theatre maker. Her writing credits include Standing at the Sky’s Edge, a collaboration with musician Richard Hawley, Steel (both Sheffield Crucible Theatre), The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (Theatr Clwyd), Pericles (National Theatre) and The Changing Room (NT Connections).

Caroline Byrne is known for her distinctive and innovative direction. Her theatre credits include Spring Awakening (Young Vic), All’s Well That Ends Well (Sam Wanamaker Theatre), Katie Roche (Abbey Theatre, Dublin) Oliver Twist (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre). Her upcoming work includes Portia Coughlan starring Ruth Negga (Young Vic).

Studio Talk: Faustus: That Damned Woman – I’d sell my soul for… at the Lyric Hammersmith on Tuesday, February 18 at 6pm. Panel to include Fiona Mountford (host) and Chris Bush. Studio Talk is a new programme of pre-show events hosted by Fiona Mountford, each inspired by the Lyric’s Main House productions, as part of Rachel O’Riordan’s first season as Artistic Director.

Rachel O’Riordan’s first season as Artistic Director.