The Playgoer


Given in modern dress, Marlowe's "Dr. Faustus" is another example of the value of present-day technique as applied to classical drama. Borrowing from the Mercury Theatre, the Federal Theatre has given a production lacking in technical excellence but of interest and importance as a revival.

The single set, a flight of steps, is monotonous in spite of numerous lighting effects, but Burt Kelsey's grouping of the actors on various stage levels to display the proper subordination of characters is excellent. A blatant loudspeaker, an overdose of fire and brimstone, insecure craftsmanship in the delivery of certain vital lines, and a lack of restraint in the comedy detract somewhat from the performances of Glenn Wilson as Faust and Basil Burwell as Mephistopheles, but Faust's struggle between his better self and his lost for power is nonetheless arresting.

Considering the handicaps besetting the Federal Theatre projects, one must be lenient of minor details, for, all in all, there is no denying that this revival of "Dr. Faustus" is a worthwhile addition to the current drama.