'Whether we fall by ambition, blood or lust, like diamonds, we are cut with our own dust'
First performed by the King’s Men – Shakespeare’s own company – ‘privately at the Blackfriars and publicly at the Globe’, 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 was the ideal curtain-raiser for our first season in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
Gemma Arterton returned to The Globe to play the title role of the Duchess. Gemma made her professional stage debut at the Globe in 2007, when she won huge critical acclaim as Rosaline in Love's Labour's Lost.
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.
Running time: 145 mins
The Duchess of Malfi clip
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Claire van Kampen
Directed for the screen:
The Duchess of Malfi:
What you have to say
Iain Richards @iwrichards
Just finished watching Webster's The Duchess of Malfi @The_Globe. What an absolutely fantastic production and such a dark story. Loved it!
Kenneth Tharp @KennethTharp
The Duchess of Malfi was wonderfully atmospheric in the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Jacobean theatre @The_Globe [...].
Just seen the last show of The Duchess Of Malfi @The_Globe It is simply outstanding. Pure excellence.
Lucile Marcellin-T @Luandthefondue