The Duchess of Malfi 
Written by: John Webster
Directed by: Dominic Dromgoole
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.
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 is 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.
CREATIVES AND PRODUCTION
- Designer Jonathan Fensom
- Composer Claire van Kampen
"Dominic Dromgoole's production gets the Globe's first season off to a cracking start."
"Gemma Arterton brings beauty, determination and moral goodness to one of the great female roles."
"The Globe's new indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse venue is beautiful, but this production fails to do justice to the chilling thrills of The Duchess of Malfi."