28 Aug 2007

The Open University presents Dr Faustus on BBC Radio 3

Faustus (Patterson Joseph) and Mephostophilis (Ray Fearon)

Faustus (Patterson Joseph) and Mephostophilis (Ray Fearon)

Tx: BBC Radio 3; Sunday September 23; 8.00pm

The Open University presents a new, fully-funded BBC Radio 3 production of Dr Faustus, written by Christopher Marlowe and featuring an array of British stage and screen talent.

The vibrant, fast-paced production reflects on Marlowe’s times but with a contemporary edge through the energy of the performances from the likes of Toby Jones, Paterson Joseph, Ray Fearon, David Bamber and Janet McTeer.

The production uses the A text, which is widely accepted as the most authentic of the published versions and captures the tragic stature of the play rather than presenting it in simple moral terms. The production stays alert to the complexities of meaning within the text, leaving room for both critical and sympathetic response to the doomed doctor.

Wagner (Toby Jones)

Wagner (Toby Jones)

Dr Richard Danson Brown, senior lecturer in Arts at The Open University and course leader of AA100 The Arts: Past and Present, says: “Dr Faustus is the first literary text students of the course will study.
"Marlowe is the first star dramatist of the English Renaissance who was both a revolutionary playwright and deeply implicated in Elizabethan power-politics through his probable covert work as a government agent.
"It’s this murkier aspect to his career which may have led to his murder in 1593.
"Marlow lived life to the full. He died at 29 after having written seven plays which defined the new style of English tragedy in terms of plot, character and language. He was at the heart of the upsurge of the popular drama and also the drama of Elizabethan intrigue. In this sense, he’s very much a man of his times, but those times continue to reverberate because of their intrinsic fascination, and because they still seem relevant now."

The Open University website, www.open2.net, has a lot of extra material related to the production including interviews with cast members and an exclusive interview between Anita Pacheco, arts lecturer with The Open University, and the producer of the production, Nadia Molinari, where they explore the many issues and ideas about the play and staging this production.

Editor’s Notes

Dr Faustus is a fully-funded Open University production for BBC Radio 3. It will be broadcast at 8.00pm on Sunday September 23.

The Open University and the BBC have been in partnership for over 30 years providing educational programming to a mass audience. In recent times this partnership has evolved from late night programming for delivering courses to peak time programmes with a broad appeal to encourage wider participation in learning.

The producer for the BBC is Nadia Molinari and Executive Producer for The Open University is Mark Jacobs.

For Images and Preview CD’s contact Guy Bailey


Related Open University Courses:-
Y160: Making Sense of the Arts (Access Course)
A177: Shakespeare: An Introduction
A174: Start Writing Fiction
A175: Start Writing Poetry
A176: Start Writing Plays
AA100 The Arts: Past and Present (first presentation in September 2008)
A210: Approaches to Literature
A215: Creative Writing
AA306: Shakespeare: Text and Performance

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