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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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Poetry On Odyssey: I Inherited Blue Eyes And I Fell In Love With Them

Those blue doors sparkle / Those blue doors shine / Once in a lifetime / Yes, they are mine.


Those Blue Doors

Those blue doors sparkle

Those blue doors shine

Once in a lifetime

Yes, they are mine.

Those blue doors

Give me a peace

A sense a treasure

This sense of mist.

To me an angel

To you is nothing

Together the blue doors

Give us more something.

That calm stare, ravishing

I felt my heart go

Beating at such pace

No one will know.

Those blue doors opened

Letting silent words speak

Reading thy loving thoughts

Matchable to my heartbeat.

I hear your love

As blue doors blink

Hands on the chest

Myself incapable to think.

Is this love worthy?

Blue doors speak, please

My questions are blank

Not sure I'll breathe.

Those blue doors

Those blue doors

I beg don't stop

Stare through my wounds

The beat may stop.

Those blue doors.

Yes, those blue doors

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