АХЕ Theatre, St. Petersburg
Director Yana Tumina

Scenographers – Maxim Isaev and Paval Semchenko
It is really strange that the Russian Engineering Theatre AXE, which a few years ago won the Golden Mask for Innovation, has never turned to the legend of Doctor Faust before, although there is hardly anyone who calls the members of AXE anything but alchemists. Faust. 2360 Words is literally stuffed with spectacular effects and transformations. Faust’s laboratory is turned into a mixing desk cum actor’s dressing table. Mephistopheles is placed into an alchemic cube. He comments with actions on the story that Dr Faust puts in a number of words. Old books are leaking with water and seeping with sand, burning. A roll with paper ribbon scribbled with words is turning by itself, bottles are fuming, a rotator is snowing, the picture in a frame is dancing like in a dim TV-set, a red-winged demonic figurine flies out of the box pierced with bloody splinters.

Andrey Sizintsev sits at the mixing deck and reads out the “autographic posthumous writings of Doctor J. Faust”, which in 2,360 words tells us the story of a man who pawned his soul to get an opportunity to perceive the whole world. In the end he fails to see anything and is cursed by God. Two bearded Mephistopheleses are just nearby, demonstrating us the secrets of different things. One is placed inside the cube, surrounded by little retorts, converters, and cogs; the other is looming in the background. Most of this show resembles some exotic puppet theatre…
Gleb Sitkovsky, Gazeta

Faust starts the story from his birth: Mephistopheles, placed in a cube, accompanies him with different pictures, alchemic perturbations, and playing with puppets. On the curtain of the cube a shadow theatre is performed: the devil’s head turns into a girl, the cross turns into a heart, Faust’s figure first cracks and then falls apart. Old books spit water and coffee beans, and blaze in flames… Bottles are smoking, a rotator making snow, a picture dancing in the frame like in a TV-set, the winged red figure of a demon flies out of a box…
Dina Goder, Vremya Novostei