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The Duchess Of Malfi
The widowed Duchess of Malfi longs to marry her lover, the steward Antonio. But her rancorous brothers, Ferdinand and the Cardinal, are implacably opposed to the match. When their spy, Bosola, discovers that the Duchess has secretly married and carries Antonio’s child, they exact a terrible and horrific revenge.
Webster’s best-known play was first performed by the King’s Men – Shakespeare’s own company – ‘privately at the Blackfriars and publicly at the Globe’. Dead hands, macabre wax figures, a poisoned Bible…
The Duchess of Malfi is a thrilling combination of brilliant coups de théâtre, horrific set-pieces and vivid characters – notably the tragic Duchess and the subtly villainous Bosola – all lit by Webster’s obsessional imagination. This most intimate Jacobean tragedy is the ideal curtain-raiser for the first season in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.