DOES knowledge always come with a price? That’s perhaps one of the questions that we should ask ourselves, as Christopher Marlowe’s classic play Dr Faustus is performed at Titchfield Festival Theatre from Wednesday.

Set in Victorian London, this is an interpretation of a play originally written in the 16th century by Marlowe, a contemporary of William Shakespeare.

Dr Faustus is a brilliant young man who is frustrated because he believes his human form and the society he lives in prevent the expansion of his knowledge and his experience of life. He believes himself to be worth more than his peers, because they accept their mediocre existence, which he does not. Through the use of dark magic, Faustus makes a deal with the demon Mephatophilis so that he may gain the ability to live the life he wishes for and experience things which are out of this world. The exchange – eternal damnation, his soul will belong to Lucifer. Does Dr Faustus understand the consequences of what he has done or the lack of control he truly has over his own destiny?

The story of Dr Faustus is reputed to be based on a German folk tale which Marlowe adapted as a play in 1594, having been published in English as “The Historie of the Damnable Life, and Deserved Death, of Doctor John Faustus”. In the 20th century, the story has been performed as an opera, in two films and has also been the inspiration for a novel and a comic.

Kevin Fraser, Artistic Director of Titchfield Festival Theatre, told the Daily Echo: “Dr Faustus is a classic play which many people may have heard of, although perhaps know very little about the actual story behind it. So we decided to perform it this year as Marlowe’s play provides our director with such immense scope to use her creativity and imagination. We believe this is a piece of Elizabethan era writing which will appeal to modern day audiences; after all, some of the dilemmas faced by Faustus are encountered by individuals in our society today. For example, is the thirst for knowledge so desirable that it is worth it at any cost?”

Runs until February 17, with matinee on Sunday February 11.

Tickets via the website or Box Office on 01329 556156.