Total darkness. Garbled electronic sounds gradually build into a thundering roar, reminiscent of a plane veering down the runway. An orgasmic explosion fills the theatre with a big bang and a sudden flash of light. Following the chaos, what emerges in the darkness is the phantasmal image of two rotating human heads fixed at opposite ends of a single body. It is Faust, fastened to a revolving metallic "bed" evocative of Leonardo da Vinci's armillary sphere. The heads spin like two satellites in a never-ending cosmic orbit, creating a subtle allusion to the Faust/Mephistopheles duality that later in the performance becomes more explicit. "I am Faust," he groans, as he contemplates self-destruction. "I am forty-seven years old, and I am tired ... of everything, tired, of life, of myself .... I know that I will never find happiness ... never be free! Nothing I know is of any value."


Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1999

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 1999 BRILL. This article first appeared in Theatre Forum 15 (Summer 1999): 34-44.

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