Alan Marshall Bella Edwards Bob Howourth Brian Davis Brenda Cook Carol Chilcott Claude Rimmer David Conn David Glover-Kirk David Parry-Jones David Scott David Talbot faustus group Jack Mundy Jacky Long Joan Clews Joan Goodyear John Vowles Kathy Stewart Kevin Hogan Lizzie Lane Lyn Martin Mary Lansdown Nicholas Selway Peter Sutton Richard Edwards Robert Chapman Robert Tooze Royston Tanner Sarah McGreevy Stephen Canaby This River Winding Tina Kelly Tom Hodson georgeT

About Marlowe Synopsis Theme Art Text

inspiration through poetry

art + power have a very accomplished poetry group, some of whose members are also actors in the portway players. Director Jane Sallis explains how the poets got involved in Faustus, and how their work influences the rehearsal process.

‘In rehearsals we tend to explore themes by taking ideas, actions and words and demonstrating them; each person interpreting their own actions and those of others in whole group discussion. The whole basis of these discussions is: what do we understand from what we are seeing/showing.

This is the process through which we developed the poetry, a more reflective tool because it focussed on the story, how we were interpreting it and people's own understandings.

A great example of this is Roy Tanner’s poem about the crown. All of Roy's understanding of a crown and what it symbolises is stated at the start of the poem, then he returns to the action we had devised in the play - Brian tilting the crown, which incidentally was purely accidental in the first instance, we loved it and built it into the play - and then ends with direct reference to the story of Faustus: It is another temptation, sign the contract.’

Roy’s poem:

Power comes with a crown
Can make you look powerful
But this crown doesn’t make Faustus a king
It does not say much about power
A tilted crown
Does not make him a king, more of a clown
A crown to make him change his mind
It is another temptation:
Sign the contract.

a sketch of Faustus wearing a crooked crown
The crooked crown

artist in residence

‘The Portway Players invited me to be their artist in residence and asked if I could make drawings of their rehearsals of Faustus. I worked, in the main, using A2 sketch pads and ink pens to record what the players were doing in rehearsal but also to suggest my own ideas about props, stage set and costumes. The players used my sketches to help design the stage set, mainly around the library and my ideas about books and how they should be placed. Also the players say that I helped them remember what they had done in each scene, from week to week.’

‘I have been an artist for sixteen years. I paint and draw, I work big and small. I like painting and drawing people more than anything else.’

Images by Carol Chilcott

a sketch of Faustus bride
The bride

a sketch of devils standing around a magic circle
The magic circle

a sketch of Faustus seated with devils nearby
The midnight hour

a sketch of the horse courser scene
The horse courser scene

a sketch of Faustus magically creating a horse
The deadly sins

a sketch of a duke and servants
The Duke of Vanholt

A sketch of the pope, servants nd throne
The Pope’s Feast

The players say:

‘Carol recorded our rehearsals creatively, in a visual and inspirational way. We think the drawings exist in their own right to tell the story of Faustus.’

 

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