Review Round Up… Doctor Faustus, Duke of York’s Theatre

Kit Harington and Jenna Russell star in Jamie Lloyd’s production that reimagines Christopher Marlowe’s original play. But it seems to have divided critical opinion…

The Guardian: ** Michael Billington found that: “There is little such subtlety in this modernised version which simply suggests that it’s a mistake to squander your sense of self for the sake of global popularity. That, however, seems a trite message to emerge from such a welter of sound and fury.”

The Daily Mail:** Patrick Marmion commented: “it proves itself to be not only tasteless, but also gratuitous.”

The Telegraph:** Dominic Cavendish was disappointed saying: “alas there’s little that’s intrinsically right about Jamie Lloyd’s revival.”

Variety: Matt Trueman wrote: “Lloyd is bringing a new generation to the theater, and deserves credit for that. This is theater you blu-tack to your bedroom walls; Marlowe as a two-hour music video.”

The Hollywood Reporter: “Sneering at celebrity worship feels like pandering to the theater crowd’s smuggest sense of superiority. It’s perhaps also an act of bad faith, given that the whole show is happily exploiting the fame of its star performer.”

The Independent: *** Paul Taylor wrote: “Ambitious but incoherent, it’s a show that embraces some of the good as well as the unfortunate meanings of diabolical.”

WhatsOnStage: ** Holly Williams called it: “a production bogged down by its many attempts to find a modern and edgy take on Christopher Marlowe’s play.”

Evening Standard: **Henry Hitchings commented that: “Jamie Lloyd makes no secret of his desire to attract new audiences to the theatre, and this production has his trademark visual richness.”

However, some critics found positives in the production:

Love London Love Culture:”Jamie Lloyd shows exactly how to get to the heart of a story and interpret it for a modern and young audience in a way that is gripping and chilling to watch from beginning to end.”

A Younger Theatre: “Though the production can be a bit too graphic and overwhelming at times, it opens up Marlowe’s play to new possibilities and interpretations for a modern audience and proves why Jamie Lloyd is a director worth idolising.”

British** Danny Coleman-Cooke thought: “It is an artfully staged production that is high in intensity.”

Radio Times: **** Fiona Hughes was impressed saying: “It’s a production fizzing with energy that’s squarely aimed at a young audience. It won’t, as a result, be to everyone’s taste.”

Londonist: **** Kyra Hanson wrote: “Ultimately, Faustus embodies human weakness, summed up in an unexpected and rather chilling finale.”

London*** Dom O’Hanlon commented: “Lloyd is never easy on his audiences, and challenges them at every turn.”

Time Out: *** “At times it feels wilfully incoherent – though much about it is compelling.”

Doctor Faustus is playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre until the 25th June. To book tickets visit: ATG Tickets,, Discount, Last, Theatre Tickets, Love, Theatre and UK





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