The Cardinal played by James Garnon
The Duchess of Malfi (2014)
Written by: John Webster
James trained at RADA. Previous work for Shakespeare’s Globe includes: The Tempest, Gabriel, Richard III, Anne Boleyn, All’s Well That Ends Well, Macbeth, A New World: The Life of Thomas Paine, The Storm, Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night and Dido Queen of Carthage. Other theatre includes: The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tragedy of Thomas Hobbes, Here Lies Mary Spindler, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, Pericles (RSC); Much Ado About Nothing (Old Vic); King Lear (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Hamlet (The Factory); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Middle Temple/Royal Festival Hall/US); The Barber of Seville (Bristol Old Vic); One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (UK tour); The Blue Room, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (York Theatre Royal). Film and television includes: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries, Hereafter, Anonymous, The Enemy Within, Micro Men, Spilt Milk, Last Temptation of Chris, The Brussels and Without Motive. Radio includes: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest.
“What makes it very different from the experience one imagines it must have been like in Elizabethan times is that we have a huge number of associations with candlelight. Its romantic, it’s sexy. They wouldn't have had that; it’s just a room at night.”
In James’ final interview he talks about the associations we have with candlelight, the audiences shaping of the play and his favourite moments.
"One thing I always think most at the Globe - and I think it should be true of any play, but really the stuff that we do here - the most important character in the play is the audience. You see what they bring and it tells you what you've got."
In his third interview James discusses working with an audience and by candlelight in the new playhouse.
“It is very interesting the relationship between the Cardinal and Julia, its clearly odd. It’s very unspecific as to what’s going on. So playing with that in lots of different ways is interesting.”
In his second interview, James discusses the relationships within the play, the structure of the text, and the ‘movement piece’ to end the play.
“Nearly every line I have to say has about 4 or 5 different ways of being interpreted, which are all deliberately put there. It’s very skilfully-simply-tricksy sort of stuff.”
James talks about the surprising elements of humour throughout the play, and how these help with the more tragic moments, and the ambiguous nature of the Cardinal’s language.