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A version with music of Goethe's dramatic poem
Adapted by Ian McDiarmid
Translation by Philip Wayne

Thu 02 Mar 2017 - Sat 25 Mar 2017

“Two souls are housed within my breast”

Faust is a brilliant but frustrated academic. Disillusioned by his never ending quest for knowledge, he summons up the darkest of powers to free him from his misery. Making a deal with the devilish Mephisto, Faust promises to serve him once he is satisfied his desires have been met. But quickly he is captivated by the beautiful Gretchen and Faust commits himself to winning her heart. At whatever cost.

Olivier and Tony award-winning actor Ian McDiarmid, well known for his role as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in the Star Wars film series, and numerous stage credits for the RSC, National Theatre and Donmar Warehouse plays the titular role and brings Goethe’s gripping masterpiece to life in this bold new adaptation, staged at The Watermill for the first time.

Lisa Blair is one of the country’s most exciting young directors. She recently directed Contractions at Sheffield Theatres and was associate director on Jude Law’s Henry V and The Merchant of Venice for the RSC and Almeida Theatre.

The Watermill’s intimate space will be given a new dimension with the set designed by Georgia Lowe complemented by acclaimed video designer Zsolt Balogh’s contemporary projection. Balogh’s previous work includes Hull’s UK City of Culture Opening Ceremony, the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony and the David Bowie is exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

A powerful story of lust, sacrifice and regret, Faust x2 is a thrilling, atmospheric and moving re-telling of the immortal legend of Faust.

Please note, this production contains scenes of stylised sexual violence and some strong language.

Directed by Lisa Blair
Designed by Georgia Lowe
Lighting designed by Elliot Griggs
Video designed by Zsolt Balogh
Composer and sound designed by Richard Hammarton

Daisy Fairclough


Theatre includes: DNA, Pigeon English, Romeo & Juliet (National Youth Theatre Rep Company). Television: The Strike Series (Bronte Productions). Film includes: Just Charlie (Seahorse Films).

Ian McDiarmid


As a leading theatre actor, Ian has appeared with all the major UK companies, in the West End and on Broadway, receiving many awards, including an Olivier and a Tony. From 1990 to 2002, he was joint Artistic Director of London's Almeida Theatre, helping to establish its international reputation. His many television and film roles include Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars films. Ian most recently starred in What Shadows at the Birmingham Rep. McDiarmid will be back on the screen in 2017 as King Pellenor in the Sky/Amazon collaboration Britannia.

Jacques Miche


Theatre includes: Jason in Saving Jason (Park Theatre); Knuckles in Bugsy Malone (Lyric Hammersmith); Isaac Tallentire in The Hired Man (NYMT, Nikolai Foster); Brett in 13 the Musical (NYMT, Jason Robert Brown); The Artful Dodger in Oliver! the Musical (Cameron Mackintosh Ltd); Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol (The Royal Northern Ballet Company).

‘Daring and provocative’ ★★★★ Whatsonstage

‘Sure-footed young director Lisa Blair confidently leads a production team as achingly cool and youthful as the smooth-operating, hoodie-clad demon Mephisto’  ★★★★ Whatsonstage

Read the full Whatsonstage review here

‘A punchy retelling of Faust for our age’ The Stage

Read the full Stage review here

‘Goethe meets George Lucas’ The Telegraph
‘Impressive projected visuals, suggesting a world of gizmo-assisted gratifications’ The Telegraph

‘McDiarmid delivers Goethe’s verse with skill and fervour, both in his adaptation and in his performance as Faust.’ ★★★★ The Oxford Times

'This modern Faust is devilishly good' ★★★★ The Oxford Times

‘A gripping production’ Henley Standard