TRANSMIT – initiate the backstage bickering – RECEIVE – raise the red curtain – LADIES AND GENTLEMEN – initiate The Tragicall History of – FROM THE SECRET QUARTOS – live from the Albion Ballroom Theatre – WITNESS – opening night!
Him in Black and Her in White. Professor Woland as Mephistophilis. Behemoth as the Duchess of Vanholt. The Ballets Russes as Dr Faustus. Dr Faustus as the Barman in the Back. The Buzzing as the Chorus. Ladies and Gentlemen as Witnesses to the Crazed Spectacle, September, 1935.
Enter Dr Faustus et all.
Her in White: O, Faustus, lay that damned gift aside.
Him in Black: Go forward, Faustus, in that famous art.
Faustus picks up the gift. Cue the magick and its exposure.
Barman: O, barbarous!
Duchess: Agreed, sirrah, we must move on. Bring out the principal act!
The pickpockets and prostitutes of Ealdwic loiter outside the newly opened theatre. A warm September evening. They cannot fathom what's happening inside the Albion – what twisted yarns, what black puppetry, what narrative engineering. All they know is that it is surely boisterous, surely stupefying, and – over the course of the years – will surely be outstanding for business.
Enter the course of the years. Every night a new crowd exits, pursued by screams of terror and euphoria.
Chorus: Ladies and Gentlemen, in the history of a more reputable theatre, such frenzy would be an abberation. But not on the Albion's stage! From dark seances to tasteless butchering to exploits ahead of their age - it was made to bear what no other would dare. Witness a spectacle that's only just begun!
Duchess! Hack out a march!