The Duchess of Malfi played by Gemma Arterton
The Duchess of Malfi (2014)
Written by: John Webster
Gemma trained at RADA. Previous work for Shakespeare’s Globe includes: Love’s Labour’s Lost. Other theatre includes: The Master Builder (Almeida) and The Little Dog Laughed (Garrick). Film includes: St Trinian’s, Quantum of Solace, The Boat that Rocked, The Prince of Persia, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Clash of the Titans, Tamara Drewe, Hansel and Gretel, Song for Marion, Byzantium, The Voices and Gemma Bovary. Television includes: Capturing Mary, Lost in Austen, Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Inside No. 9.
“It’s so easy to allow yourself to go down the sense of doom, desperation, and despair, and drama. But she’s the opposite of that. That’s what the Duchess believes in, strives for. She’s light she’s hope, she’s love, she’s everything beautiful.”
In her final interview Gemma talks about the journey of the Duchess over the run and her favourite moment in the play.
"I’m really proud of it. I think it’s such a bizarre play. And I think this space really serves it in its most true sense."
In her third interview, Gemma discusses the play now performances have begun, performing in front of an audience in the new space, and getting used to wearing a ruff.
“The Duchess is so good under pressure. When she’s under pressure, that’s when she really flourishes and sharpens.”
Gemma discusses the satisfaction of getting off-book, the way the Duchess carries herself and moves, and the warmth of the new Playhouse.
“The more I get into I’m realising how bold the Duchess is, much stronger than any other character I've played. It’s beautifully written.”
In her first interview, Gemma discusses the character of the Duchess, the more conversational nature of the text compared to Shakespeare, and all the different - and unexpected - elements of the play.