‘Welcome to Hell!’ says a smiling demon, with the false sincerity of cabin crew greeting you at the aircraft door. What kind of ride have you let yourself in for? The answer, it turns out, is an hour of dynamic and artful storytelling, delivered with verve by the all-female cast of Guildford High School’s Morton Players. This tale of a brilliant man who sold his soul to the Devil borrows from Marlowe’s sixteenth-century script, but unashamedly updates it for a modern ear.

A cast of devils, headed by Lucifer himself, lead a gleeful run-down of the Seven Deadly Sins – tying each one to a stage of Marlowe’s story, and Doctor Faustus’s life. The youthful Faustus dares to believe he can study and tame the Devil; but as he grows wiser, the privileges and delights he’d once so treasured are revealed as a hollow sham. And the devils themselves have a story too. Cast out from Heaven, they are living in torment… yet are wickedly determined to capture more souls as their own.

Beth Morris plays Faustus with an appropriately devilish air – all cut-above confidence and toothy-grin conceit, until the realisation of what he’s done begins to creep in. Mira Baldwin’s Mephistopheles is deliciously disdainful, bound to serve Faustus yet absolutely not bothered by it all, while Alicia Langley brings unexpected nuance to the Doctor’s servant Wagner: on the one hand a likeable Everyman figure, on the other a warning of what we all could become.

But this is an ensemble piece, and in some ways it’s the cameos I most enjoyed: the breathlessly hopeful angel who tries to pull Faustus back, the old man who offers him his last chance of salvation. Simple, striking props keep track of who’s who, while the stripped-back visuals are always stylish and the choreography always sharp. I particularly appreciated the clever use of height, evoking both the distant heavens and the infernal pit below.

The direction leans heavily on a couple of performance tropes – there’s a limit to how much speaking-in-unison a one-hour play can take – and the script, from Splendid Productions, skips lightly over some high-concept themes I’d have liked more time to explore. But the cast work well to draw the audience into the world of the play, challenging us to ask whether Faustus’s vices are really that much worse than our own, and the little details – the way the devils flinch every time they say ‘God’ – are executed to perfection.

Pride’s not a sin when it’s warranted, and this young company has earned the right to be proud of a compelling performance and show. They could have great futures ahead in the theatre, if that’s the way they choose to go. In the meantime, don’t be slothful if you plan to catch this show – they’re only here till Thursday.