Something Wicked This Way Comes: ‘Faustaff’ Premieres at The Cockpit

“Say it like you did in the asylum” – “You’re going to kill your wife, and then you’re going to kill yourself”.

Written by Holloway alumni Diego Sosa, ‘Faustaff: or the Mockery of the Soul’ commenced its limited three-week run on the London stage on the 18th, bringing its demonic, experimental vibe to the theatre of the capital. Merging the raw physicality of brutal murder scenes with the psychological mind-meddling trickery of a playful demon – played by ‘Doctors’ Eddie Chamberlin – ‘Faustaff’ will leave you pondering on the story long after you’ve left The Cockpit.

Alumni success: Holloway alumni have been heavily involved in putting the new play together.
Alumni success: Holloway alumni have been heavily involved in putting the new play together.

The stage, much like the cluttered laboratory of a crazed scientist, is a place to experiment, crashing ideas together, ramming thoughts into test tubes and observing what happens. ‘Faustaff’ poses some brain-boggling questions about how we perceive our world, what it means to be an artist and how far the common narcissistic street-walker will go to achieve fame and fortune. As with all experiments, some aspects find themselves at the bottom of the heap; opening the play with the final scene was ambitious, making the audience experience an unnerving degree of déjà vu at points. Vice versa, many fragments of the script were simply inspired, the passion of the Devil asking “They always write songs and poetry for him, but what about me?” shaking the logic of the audience to the core.

‘Faustaff’ poses some brain-boggling questions about how we perceive our world, what it means to be an artist and how far the common narcissistic street-walker will go to achieve fame and fortune.

If you find yourself venturing outside the comfort zone of the Circle Line into Marylebone, I urge you to pop into one of the final ninety-minute performances, concluding on December 6th. By no means expect perfection. Personally, I believe the playwright and Mexican Director Rodrigo Johnson would be offended if you thought the play was perfect: the intense narrative and erratic staging deliberately enacts a ripping out of the imperfections of the tarnished human condition, thrusting them onto the stage for all the world to see and heckle.

Faustaff: The show runs until 6th December at the Cockpit Theatre, London.
Faustaff: The show runs until 6th December at the Cockpit Theatre, London.

If you’re confused at moments, that’s the point. If you get a tad depressed about what Sosa has to say about our power-hungry attitudes, that’s the point. If you purchase a ticket to witness a spectacle calling itself ‘The Mockery of the Soul’, you shouldn’t expect a feel-good musical extravaganza with Cameron Diaz which ends with an elaborate wedding. Anticipate the blood-soaked, thought-provoking and limit-testing showmanship you’re letting yourself in for, embracing the madness of what leads Lesley Lightfoot and Jonson Wilkinson have to offer.

Overlapping reality and fiction into a hazy and indistinct blur, ‘Faustaff’ holds massive potential, however can only be appreciated if you let yourself go from the grips of any preconceptions. If you don’t, or simply can’t, this experience is not for you.

Holloway students can get a two for one online ticket discount with code ‘241FAUST’.