Faustaff, Cockpit Theatre, review: ‘A hellish night out’


Faustaff - Credit: Archant

A jerky plot and some difficult dialogue suggests this play made a bad deal with the devil, says Aline Waites.

Supposing you do a deal with the devil – would happen? You gain the world but lose your soul. Gilly Jacoby finds out in this play by Mexican writer Diego Sosa Ortega directed by Rodrigo Johnson Celoria.

Overshadowed by her famous father, Gilly is a writer with a bad case of writer’s block. She is drinking heavily and facing a deadline with nothing to show her publisher Olivier Simone who is fond of her but irritated by her unreliability.

In desperation she foolishly cries ‘I’d give my soul for a decent story’. A strange young man called Chorus appears to her and suddenly she finds she is imagining incredibly dramatic murder stories all about people she sees, including her publisher and his girlfriend.

Here are the plot lines she is seeking and she becomes a bestselling and highly acclaimed novelist. Of course, things do not turn out well for her or for her characters.

The dialogue is a little jerky and seems difficult for the actors to play in a natural manner, which gives the impression of being a (bad) translation. This may be just the author’s style but the plot jumps about in time and is often difficult to follow.

It is a fascinating, bizarre idea which could be more interesting if treated with a little more humour.

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Jonson Wilkinson plays the triple role of Gilly’s publisher Olivier, and two of her characters Ponton and Andrew, with Italian actress Alessia Gotti as all the females.

There are a couple of crazy detectives who are there to solve the murders and the role of Gilly Jacoby is handled efficiently by Lesley Lightfoot but really this is not a great night out.

Rating: 2/5 stars