Drama Classics: The World’s Great Plays at a Great Little Price
A fresh, performable version by John Clifford of Goethe’s ‘unstageable’ masterpiece.
God and Mephistopheles vie for the mortal soul of Dr Faust. Signing a pact with the nihilistic spirit, Faust is privy to knowledge unbound and sensual delights of which most men can only dream. But before long, the Doctor comes to realise that you should always be very careful what you wish for.
Goethe began working on Faust in about 1772-5. He published a first fragment of it in 1790, then the whole of Part One in 1808. He saw the first performance of Part One in Brunswick in 1829, and was still making minor revisions to Part Two shortly before his death in March 1832.
This two-part English version by John Clifford, in the Nick Hern Books Drama Classics series, was first performed at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, in February 2006.
‘A thoroughly modern interpretation, a litany of society’s soul-selling compromises – sexual commoditisation, academic dumbing-down and capitalistic rapaciousness – that is entirely about today. It’s frequently funny but never less than serious’