Explore our previous productions of John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi from 1960-2000.

1960 Donald McWhinnie Production

Donald McWhinnie's production of The Duchess of Malfi in 1960 played as part of our first season as the newly created Royal Shakespeare Company, before transferring to our London base at the Aldwych Theatre. This production marked Peggy Ashcroft's second outing as the Duchess; she first played the tragic title role at the Haymarket in 1945. 

Max Adrian - Cardinal
Peggy Ashcroft - Duchess
Derek Godfrey - Antonio Bologna
Eric Porter - Ferdinand
Patrick Wymark - Daniel de Bosola

Director - Donald McWhinnie
Designer - Leslie Hurry
Lighting - John Wyckham Lighting
Music - Humphrey Searle

1971 Clifford Williams Production

Clifford Williams directed Webster's play in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 1971. Judi Dench played the title role, with her real-life husband Michael Williams as her onstage twin brother, Ferdinand. This casting highlighted the sexual, incestuous relationship between the play's siblings.

Judi Dench - Duchess
Geoffrey Hutchings - Daniel de Bosola
Emrys James - Cardinal
Richard Pasco - Antonio Bologna
Michael Williams - Ferdinand

Director - Clifford Williams
Designer - Farrah
Lighting - Michael J White
Music - Marc Wilkinson 

1989 Bill Alexander Production

The Duchess of Malfi played in our intimate Swan Theatre for the first time in 1989, before touring to the Newcastle Playhouse and the Pit, London. Bill Alexander's production celebrated the loving, sympathetic relationship between Harriet Walter's Duchess and Mick Ford's Antonio.

Bruce Alexander - Ferdinand
Russell Dixon - Cardinal
Mick Ford - Antonio Bologna
Nigel Terry (Stephen Boxer, London) - Daniel de Bosola
Harriet Walter - Duchess

Director - Bill Alexander
Designer - Fotini Dimou
Lighting - Wayne Dowdeswell
Music - Guy Woolfenden
Movement - Lesley Hutchison
Fights - Malcolm Ranson

2000 Gale Edwards Production

Gale Edwards' production at the Barbican, London set The Duchess of Malfi in an almost postmodern world, and featured a towering, glass-walled cage – perfect for trapping Aisling O'Sullivan's fiery Duchess.

Ken Bones - Cardinal
Richard Lintern - Antonio Bologna
Tom Mannion - Daniel de Bosola
Aisling O'Sullivan - Duchess
Colin Tierney - Ferdinand

Director - Gale Edwards
Set Designer - Peter Davison
Costume Designer - Sue Willmington
Lighting - Mark McCullough
Music - Paddy Cunneen
Movement - Struan Leslie
Fights - Terry King