Review – Faust

Monday 4 December 2006

faust.jpgImagine the alarm of the Wet End Whingers (who could easily generate sufficient material to fill a companion blog called West End Worriers) when greeted by this sign at the gates of the National Theatre/Punchdrunk production of Faust on Saturday night.

Would the building collapse around their ears? Did they have public liability insurance? Was a derelict warehouse likely to have a bar?

faust_1491y7b82.jpgFortunately the answer to the last question was “yes” and although their licence doesn’t permit them to sell alcohol before 8pm, one of the benefits of Punchdrunk’s “audience empowerment” policy is that you can pop into the bar for a drink and a break whenever and as often as you like.

The downside is there’s a lot of work involved wandering around five floors of the condemned factory site to track down the action which is scattered around and moves about the site.

But it’s well worth the effort. The sets are splendid, the darkness atmospheric and the action engaging. So enaging, in fact, that Andrew found himself called upon to take part in the action on two occasions.

It’s an extraordinary experience and difficult to say more without spoiling it, but follow our top tips and you’ll have a great time.

Our top tips

  • Don’t go in a group – you will find it impossible to keep together (you will find out why!)
  • If you do go in a group, arrange to meet (in the bar, obviously) at a certain time
  • Wear distinctive clothing.
  • Forget about the story. It’s a bit of a red herring and you would have great difficulty finding all the elements, let alone seeing them in the right order.
  • Follow the noise. If it’s quiet where you are, go elsewhere.
  • Wear sensible shoes.
  • Don’t take a bag; there’s no cloakroom.
  • Don’t be afraid to open doors and be nosey.
  • Contact lenses would be preferable to glasses if you wear them.
  • Be in the basement at 8.15 or 9.45 for the finale. (The whole thing is played twice)
  • Don’t be put off by our list of top tips.

3 Responses to “Review – Faust”

  1. PeeBee Says:

    I could not agree more with the top tips and the general review of the performance. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. It is impossible to keep trask of your friends or the story, but losing yourself in the experience is very rewarding. Leave the crowds and explore the set however you see fit.


  2. […] last few years. In fact, it is difficult to find anyone who didn’t pile on hyperbole after hyperbole after hyperbole (although there is always one, isn’t there?) after seeing these incredible […]


  3. […] last few years. In fact, it is difficult to find anyone who didn’t pile on hyperbole after hyperbole after hyperbole (although there is always one, isn’t there?) after seeing these incredible […]


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