How Kit Harington's Interpretation of "Doctor Faustus" Became Its Saving Grace

How Kit Harington's Interpretation of "Doctor Faustus" Became Its Saving Grace

A review of the West End's modern production of Marlowe's 16th century play

One of my last weekends studying abroad was spent in London with four friends with whom I worked on a production of "The Mousetrap" in Rome. Some of us pretended the trip was actually to see London's sights, the rest of us fully aware that the climax would be seeing, "Phantom of the Opera" that Saturday night. Little did we know one of the most excited moments of our time in London would come the night before, when all of us managed to get tickets in the stalls for Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus" at the Duke of York's Theatre, starring "Game of Thrones" star, Kit Harington.

Jamie Lloyd's production takes the 16th century knowledge-starved doctor looking to deal with the devil to win power and wisdom into the present day with a partially rewritten script and modern circumstances, making him into a student turned Vegas illusionist. Kit embraced this role completely. Before the show began, his Faustus appeared and settled onto the edge of his bed. For the next ten minutes, he sat motionless, watching the television as drool spilled from his mouth and songs from the past century about the devil and crossroads played over the theater speakers. The lights cracks and flickered out once the show began, and Kit introduced the audience to a character so emotional and messy and conflicted from his first line that it was impossible not to be entranced by the performance. The rest of the cast, especially those playing the demons that constantly surround Faustus, were just as inspired, and when combined with the moving set and elaborate effects, lighting and sound design, the production became a bloody and brightly colored spectacle.

As brilliant as it is to look at, the play does suffer from moments of poor writing, most of which may be attributed to the fact that the production's idea of making the play more modern relies on the conception that modern language is simpler. The first scenes are portrayed with the original 16th century dialogue, which was completely brilliant to watch. Once the language was changed, though, the play started to feel cliché and cheesy. It was a complete relief when the show finally returned to its source text in the final scenes, proving that the unease I had felt throughout hadn't been due to the blood and bile or the raunchy or offensive content, since all of that continued into the play's finale. The play's worst moments came completely out of the fact that the modern context couldn't just be left in the costuming and set. The production felt had to be taken into the script, making Faustus completely clumsily spoken and simple-minded even as he's meant to have just been given such immense knowledge. A lot of it was extremely clever, but there were far too many moments where the sloppy dialogue managed to throw you out of the story for a moment before trying to reel you back in with gore and curses.

Despite this weakness, there was hardly a moment that wasn't enjoyable to watch. Kit was able to take each line and layer it in emotion. The actors were completely dedicated to their characters, to the point that the supporting cast was just as enthralling as its main characters. My favorite moment was when one demon stepped forward and played all seven of the deadly sins possessing one body, a part traditionally played by separate actors. The entire production relied on its actors and spectacle (and the hope that Kit Harington might show the audience his butt again), but those elements made it so enjoyable to watch that the changed to the script hardly detracted from the experience. The five of us stood outside the stage door, thanking every actor that passed us, because every demon on the stage had been the only thing truly saving this oddly written production.

Cover Image Credit: China Daily

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20 Disney Channel Original Movies That You HAD To See As Soon As It Came Out

You know you still have a soft spot for #11.

My friends and I were having a movie night and like many other movie nights before we couldn't decide on what we should watch. We scrolled through Netflix for what seemed like forever until I remembered that I had some Disney Channel Original Movies through an app my Dad set up. This opened up a whole new ball game because we all grew up watching these movies. I got to the app and started looking at all of them.

My friends and I were reminiscing about the movies we had seen when we were younger.

To people that may not know, a Disney Channel Original Movie (or DCOM for short), is a movie that was aired on Disney Channel and was not ever in a theater. Here is a list of the top DCOMs.

1. "Double Teamed" (2002)

Who doesn't love twin girl athletes originally wanting to do different things but both ending up playing basketball?

2. "Right On Track" (2003)

A sister movie where they are trying to be better than each other at racing. There's nothing wrong with some sibling competition is there?

3. "Quints" (2000)

After this movie, I was definitely glad I didn't have any younger siblings, especially not five.

4. "Cadet Kelly" (2002)

Cadet Kelly wanted me to join a military school; however, I know I definitely wouldn't have survived.

5. "Pixel Perfect" (2004)

Making a robot girl that is practically perfect? Yes, please! This movie also inspired me to want to learn how to do a one-handed cartwheel, which I did.

6. "The Cheetah Girls" (2003)

Every young girl and her friends would sing along to these songs and pretend to be them. And let's be real, the other two weren't as amazing as the first, especially after Raven, left.

7. "The Zenon Trilogy" (1999, 2001 & 2004)

Who didn't want to live in space after watching these movies?

8. "You Wish!" (2003)

I definitely know I wanted to wish on a lucky coin that I didn't have any siblings, but after this movie, I'm very glad I never did in case it actually came true.

9. "Starstruck" (2010)

It's every girl's dream to fall in love with a dreamy poster, and the song "Something About the Sunshine" is so catchy, and I have it on a Spotify playlist and have no regrets about jamming to it in the car.

10. "Twitches/Twitches Too" (2005 & 2007)

I definitely wanted a twin that was also a witch after watches these movies.

11. "High School Musical 1 and 2" (2006 & 2007)

These don't need explaining. If you haven't seen them or at least heard about them, then you probably live under a rock. I just wish high school was really like this. Also, "High School Musical 3" was also amazing but did not make the list because it was technically not a DCOM since it was released in theaters.

12. "Lemonade Mouth" (2011)

This one is pretty new, but it made me want to get detention to potentially meet my future bandmates even though I have no musical abilities.

13. "Gotta Kick It Up!" (2002)

If this movie didn't have you shouting "Si se Puede!" then you didn't appreciate it enough.

14. "Get A Clue" (2002)

This made me want to be a spy more than I already wanted to be one as a child. Solving crimes with your best friends sounded like a very great time.

15. "Smart House" (1999)

Winning a house that could talk to you and listen to what you told it? Seems like a dream come true, until the house gets a little too attached.

16. "Eddie's Million Dollar Cook-Off" (2003)

Baseball or cooking? Waiting to see what Eddie chose was a nail-biter.

17. "Camp Rock 1 & 2" (2008 & 2010)

A movie with songs that made you get up and dance and want to go to summer camp.

18. "Descendants 1 & 2" (2015 & 2017)

These movies are really new so, not many people that are over the age of 10 have heard of them, but I thoroughly enjoyed them. They have really catchy songs even if they are pretty cheesy.

19. "Jump In!" (2007)

Who doesn't love Corbin Bleu jumping rope?

20. "Stuck In The Suburbs" (2004)

Another movie where a teenager gets befriends a dreamy pop star. Come on why couldn't that happen in real life? I'd totally be down to be best friends with Justin Bieber. DCOMs will always have a special place in my heart.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Poems On Odyssey: "Stages"

As life moves through its stages.


I see it now.

I see that there is a distinction,

A difference,

Between the present.

Between the future.

Between the past.

We roam through the present,

Making the most of each day,

Living life to the fullest of capacities.

We aspire and discourage.

We succeed and we fail.

We love.

We hate.

We dream of the future,

Hoping to achieve our goals,

To exceed the expectations and break the stereotypes.

We imagine and dread.

We wish and obsess.

We accept.

We fear.

Yet, we live in the past,

Reminiscing on the best of times,

Wishing that we could relive those moments.

We have no choice but to remember the worst of times,

As old memories are forced to the back of the brain,

Crammed inside of a dusty storage box,

Exactly where we hope they will remain,

Until we are ready to revisit them.

That is,

If we are ever ready to revisit them.

We pray to remember,

We pray to forget,

As life moves through its stages.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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