'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 returns to the Globe in the title role of the Duchess (2014), bringing 'beauty, determination, and a sense of moral goodness' (The Guardian). Gemma made her professional stage debut at the Globe Theatre in 2007, when she won huge critical acclaim as Rosaline in Love's Labour's Lost.

Synopsis

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

Cast

The Duchess of Malfi:
Gemma Arterton

The Cardinal:
James Garnon

Silvio:
Giles Cooper

Ferdinand:
David Dawson

Castruccio/Doctor:
John Dougall

Bosola:
Sean Gilder

Julia:
Denise Gough

Cariola:
Sarah MacRae

Pescara/Roderigo:
Brendan O'Hea

Delio:
Paul Rider

Malateste/Grisolan:
Dickon Tyrrell

Antonio:
Alex Waldmann

Creative

Director:
Dominic Dromgoole

Written by:
John Webster

Designer:
Jonathan Fensom

Composer:
Claire van Kampen

Directed for the screen:
Ian Russell