Iceland's Vesturport Theatre and Reykjavík City Theatre's latest production, Faust: A Love Story, comes to the US as part of the BAM 30th Next Wave Festival. Faust: A Love Story is a darkly humorous, circus-inspired reimagining of the classic Faustian tale of an all-consuming desire and a second chance at life in search of love.
Set in a nursing home at holiday time, director Gísli Örn Gardarsson's production centers on Johann, a senior resident and once-famous actor who has played all the star roles except Goethe's Faust. Greta, his nurse and the object of his affection, enables him in a kind of Faust fantasia wherein Johann, on the verge of taking his own life, is rescued by the demon Mephisto, who bets God he can keep Johann/Faust from His clutches by fulfilling the old man's wish for the glories of youth and love. The characters from the nursing home submerge themselves into a performance of the play with Johann as Faust, but the border between the play and reality soon blurs in Johann's mind. Music by longtime Vesturport collaborators Nick Cave and Warren Ellis is harnessed to the company's trademark physicality, including a synchronized wheelchair dance and a high-flying act performed above a vast net stretched over the audience.
Written by Bjorn Hlynur Haraldsson, Gísli Örn Gardarsson, Nina Dogg Filippusdottir, Vikingur Kristjansson, Carl Grose, the production features music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, set design by Axel Johannesson, costume design by Filippia Elisdottir, lighting design by Thordur Orri Petursson, sound design by Thorbjorn Knudsen and Frank Hall, and make up design by Sigriður Rosa Bjarnadottir.
Performances are at the Harvey Theater (651 Fulton St) from tonight, December 12 to December 14 at 7:30PM, tonight, December 15 at 2PM and 7:30PM, and on December 16 at 3PM. Tickets start at $25. There will be an Artist Talk with the Vesturport Theatre company moderated by Jonathan Kalb following the show on December 13. The talk is free for same-day ticket holders.
For tickets and more information, visit www.bam.org.
Photo Credit: Eddi