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Wednesday, 27 March, 2002, 16:37 GMT
Doctor Faustus: Press views
Jude Law
Jude Law returns to the stage as Doctor Faustus
The press review Doctor Faustus

London Evening Standard

With a mighty sneer in his voice and no end of defiant fury, Jude Law took a one-way ticket to hell last night. And what a compelling two-hour trip he made of it, even though he didn't manage to have quite enough fun on the way or sufficiently panic as the clock ticked towards a hell-fire rendezvous at midnight.

The Independent

Law, and indeed the production, are at their best in the scenes that usually come off worst in stagings of Doctor Faustus - those in which the hero, frittering away his 24 years of trigger-happy immunity on earth, degenerates into a prankster playboy. Wild-eyed and unbuttoned, Law is magnetic as this hollow, joylessly pleasure-seeking rake, with McCabe a kind of amused Satanic Jeeves to his Elizabethan precursor of Sebastian Flyte.

The Guardian

Law is particularly strong on fiercely projected moments of arrogance and viciousness, but he is far less convincing with the character's decline. His anguish is clearly sincerely felt, but although his physical performance is impressively energetic, his acting grows dangerously generalised and slides into unilluminating self-pity.

The Times

This is the most exciting and also the most passionately thought-out production at this theatre since Lan took over. Its sense of energy and theatricality are irresistible. Richard McCabe is a magnificently ironical and controlled Mephistophilis: he knows both the price and the value of everything in a man's soul. Five actors play all the other roles with a breath-taking nimbleness and versatility. Their commitment to the text made me think that, contrary to what most scholars say, perhaps the whole play is by Marlowe.

The Daily Telegraph

Grovel on the floor and snivel though he may, Law is one of those actors who never quite lets you forget he is performing. And, though the camera clearly loves his face on screen, he is alarmingly lacking in the stage energy which might galvanise this difficult, broken-backed play into life.

See also:

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17 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
A Law unto himself
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