Monthly Archives: June 2011

Mr J. Maingot: How to be Happy

Chigwell’s Mr Maingot led a special WP session on How to be Happy, seating us in a circle in the Drama Centre’s main space, and introducing us in no particular order to various ideas, thoughts and activities designed to make us think about happiness. It was a contemplative hour, and one which those present will never forget. Sharing two pieces of chocolate between four, reading Larkin’s pessimistic lifeview, passing round a large piece of rusty metal found in the garden, hearing Othello’s worry at being rapturously happy – all will bring back memories, and will be of use in our futures.

Mr P. Fletcher: Faustus: The Man Who Sold His Soul

Our own Mr Fletcher spoke to the WP about the stories of Dr Faustus, from the real-life prodigious scholar, and the stories his life generated in Germany, through its transition to Britain and Christopher Marlowe’s famous tragedy, to its reappropriation by the young nationalist “Sturm und Drang” movement in Germany, under their leader Goethe. Mr Fletcher showed us how, with Goethe, the story developed over his life from an innovative and powerful stage piece (Faust Part 1) to an extended meditation on life, the universe and everything (Part 2), which was completed in the year before Goethe’s death. We learnt how the man who had studied everything, but realised that he still knew nothing of importance, was corrupted by the devil Mephistopholes, ruined the life of the innocent peasant girl Gretchen, and was finally, contrary to most other versions of the tale, at the very end saved from damnation.

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