CORONAVIRUS: 05May21 UpdateAll UK venues closed on 16th March 2020. Many are planning to re-open by late May 2021 with some restrictions and possibly fully open from mid-June.
The Duchess of Malfi is a wealthy young widow. Jealous of her fortune, her two brothers, the Cardinal and her twin Ferdinand, decide she must not remarry. To this end they introduce a spy into her household, the ruthless Bosola. The court of Malfi is a treacherous place, with political, religious and personal allegiances in constant conflict. But the Duchess is blinded to its dangers by her love for her servant, Antonio. When their marriage is revealed her outraged brothers determine on a devastating course of action. Revenge breeds revenge, love turns to hate and a powerful tale of despair and madness inexorably unfolds.Performers Imogen Stubbs (Duchess), Guy Williams (Cardinal), Timothy Walker (Ferdinand), James Albrecht (Antonio), Jane Bertish, Oliver Birch, David Caves, Phillip Cumbus, Sebastian Harcombe, Melanie Jessop.
Author John Webster. Producer West Yorkshire Playhouse. Director Philip Franks. Design Leslie Travers. Lighting Charles Balfour. Sound Mic Pool. Music Matthew Scott. Director Kate Waters (fight). Director Kay Magson (casting). Director Sam Brown (assistant).
USER (30Oct06): A pure bloodbath! Ended up wishing they'd all die a quicker death!
USER (27Oct06): Seen on the press night. A very stylised production in the 1950 / art deco influenced. The only downside to this was the 'Goodfellows' style non-descripted suited gentlemen and courtiers. Despite the reduction of some of the characters a rather 'too full' rendition of the play leads to a feeling that much of the verse is rushed for time and looses much of naturalistic feeling (with the exception of Imogen Stubbs and Guy Williams). An interesting take on Bosola as a harried and unhinged man with a guilty past and 'columbo' style dress sense. Though well portrayed not quite forcefull enough to carry, particularily when met with technical difficulties of misfiring blanks. That said with the exception of a few costume difficulties the production was carried off and will probably improve with running. It certainly has the look with an impressive set and feel, though by the time the bodies pile up(some nearly 3hrs later), there is a feeling of 'numb bum' rather than enthralled. Never managing to engage with the characters (with the notable exception of the Cardinal, forcefully played by Guy Williams) it may well become slicker and reflect the style of production with time.
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