While most of the world spent Sunday waiting for the fate of Jon Snow to be revealed on ‘Game of Thrones’, actor Kit Harington was making his return to the London stage in Doctor Faustus. The role marks Harington’s return to theatre after a five-year absence, during which he became a household name. But were the critics welcoming him back with open arms?

Kit HaringtonKit Harington is back on the London stage in Doctor Faustus.

Directed by Jamie Lloyd, this Doctor Faustus is a reworking of Christopher Marlowe’s classic play with two new acts written by Colin Teevan. In this modern-retelling, Faustus makes a deal with the devil, in order to become a rock star style Vegas illusionist, with plenty of sex and violence.

The updated text seems to have done little to inspire critics, who found the production often as messy as some of its scenes (one of which features the ‘Game of Thrones’ star in nothing but some bloodied underpants).

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The Evening Standard wrote that ‘Harington’s fans will savour his performance’s mercurial physicality. But for fans of the original Doctor Faustus, it’ll seem to be a case of less Marlowe and more Marloverkill,’ giving the production two stars.

The general consensus is that Harington showed a tremendous commitment to the role, but that alone didn't manage to save the production. Giving it three stars, The Independent mused: ‘Harington throws himself into the part with audacious commitment…Ambitious but incoherent, it's a show that embraces some of the good as well as the unfortunate meanings of “diabolical”’.

The Guardian also praised Harington, finding the actor as much more than just a marquee name and TV sex symbol. ‘Given that he is obliged to bare his buttocks and parade in bloodied boxer shorts, I was tempted to dub him "off-with-your-kit Harington,”’ Michael Billington wrote.

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‘But he is much more than a TV icon and, when the production allows him, he gives us a sense of Faustus's flailing despair. I'd certainly like to see him venture further into classical theatre.’ While the Daily Mail described the actor as looking like ‘a nice boy who’s capable of so very much more.’

However The Telegraph was less complimentary, feeling that Marlowe’s text may have been a little much for the ‘GOT’ actor. ‘While he looks impressive, especially when his head leaks black oily slime, Harington’s delivery stays stubbornly earthbound too,’ Dominic Cavendish wrote. ‘He’s competent and clear but hardly a match for Marlowe’s mighty line, lacking sufficient fervour and meaningful interiority.’