Faust of the Colonnadeis a piece of new writing by David
Cochrane. The play is set in the confines of a Don’s room in
an unknown, ancient university at an unspecified time. It focuses
on the Don’s experiences of an affair with a male student,
and how he has managed to convince himself that it was his fault. This is certainly interesting writing and some of the
performance is really quite enthralling. Henry Shevlin, playing
the Don, is suited for the part and pulls off a good performance
with only fleeting moments of instability. What I did find problematic was the verbosity of the two
leads, especially the Don. While this is supposed to reflect the
language of intellect, in places it ended up muddled and
pretentious, in fact undermining the entire point of its
inclusion. Another problem was the movement of the two actors which was,
at times, a little forced, as if they were moving for the sake of
moving. This weakened the performance rather than maintaining
attention as the focus was drawn away from the speech, causing
confusion. These are however, teething problems of what is a very
commendable script from a promising student writer, and energetic
direction from the enthusiastic Edward Saatchi and Tim Partridge.
Such things should not occupy the thoughts of anyone considering
going to see Faust of the Colonnade. It really is worth the time
and thought to see and understand this production.ARCHIVE: 3rd week TT 2004