The Duchess of Malfi
“As their last show at the Greenwich Playhouse, 'The Duchess of Malfi' is a poignant swansong for producer/director team Alice de Sousa and Bruce Jamieson.” - Time Out
The Duchess of Malfi was the final production to be staged at the popular South London venue the Greenwich Playhouse which closed its doors on the 10th April 2012 after twenty years of service to theatre; following the landlord’s - Beds and Bars - decision to not renew the venue’s lease in order to exploit commercial opportunities offered by the Olympics.
In The Duchess of Malfi John Webster (1578-1634) created, through language that is rich in imagery and incomparable in dramatic power one of the greatest dramas ever written in the English language, outside of Shakespeare’s canon of work. Webster’s timeless masterpiece and heart rending love story is an intense study of a society that is broken: riddled with Machiavellian corruption, incest, madness and illicit sexual desire. It exposes issues which are of universal moral significance, and presents questions which have remained permanently elusive. The Duchess of Malfi daringly explores all that is magnificent and reprehensible in humanity. It does this in a bold and shocking manner that is tempered by beautiful and uplifting poetry.
Galleon Theatre Company’s expertly directed, designed and acted production of Webster’s much loved sexually and religiously provocative obra-prima, will offer a rousing and at times deeply moving quality theatre experience which will entertain and provoke.
The Duchess of Malfi was creatively spearheaded by the hugely acclaimed director/actor Bruce Jamieson (who also played the Cardinal) and by award winning producer Alice de Sousa (who also played the Duchess); they are co-founding directors of Galleon Theatre Company, the Greenwich Playhouse and Galleon Films. Their twenty three year creative collaboration has resulted in numerous internationally acclaimed theatre productions, delivered an unbroken legacy of high production values to the independent theatre sector and provided affordable and intelligent entertainment for dozens of thousands of people.
The Director: BRUCE JAMIESON - has directed over thirty previous Galleon productions and played leading roles in some sixty stage plays. As a television and film actor his credits include: The Oxford Murders (Tornasol); Murphy’s Law (Tiger Aspect); Monarch of the Glen (Ecosse); Ali G-Inda House (Universal); Roughnecks (BBC); In Suspicious Circumstances (Granada); Crime Solver (BBC); and Spongebob (BBC).
The Producer - ALICE DE SOUSA - is a multi-award winning writer, producer and actress. She has created over seventy stage productions; played leading roles in some thirty plays; written numerous stage and screen scripts; won in 2009 two awards including the Portuguese government’s ‘Premio de Talento’; in 2004 the American Biographical Institute awarded her with ‘Great Women of the 21st Century’ and in 2005 as ‘Woman of the Year’. (These awards recognise the impact on society of the work of 1000 prolific women worldwide).
- THE DUCHESS OF MALFI – ALICE DE SOUSA
- FERDINAND, her brother – ROBIN HOLDEN
- THE CARDINAL, her brother – BRUCE JAMIESON
- BOSOLA, an intelligencer – DAMIAN QUINN
- ANTONIO, the Duchess’ lover – DARREN STAMFORD
- DELIO, his friend – ALEXANDER NEAL
- CARIOLA, the Duchess’ lady – EMMA GRACE ARENDS
- JULIA, the Cardinal’s mistress – TANYA WINSOR
- CASTRUCHIO, her husband – BARRY CLARKE
- THE CARDINAL’S MEN / – MARTIN FOREMAN
- KEEPERS / – PHIL GERRARD
- EXECUTIONERS – ALEX REECE
- THE DOCTOR – BARRY CLARKE
THE CREATIVE TEAM
- Stage Manager – JO ABRAM
- Production Photography & Music Editing – ROBERT GOOCH
- Lighting Designer – PHILIP JONES
- Fight Director – IAN MCCRACKEN
- Costume Designer – NATASHA PIPER
- Scenery Designer – CHARLOTTE RANDELL
- Music Consultant – ALAN DUTHIE
- Production Assistants – MATT KAVANAGH;– STEPHANIE FULLER;– JOSHUA SHENTON
- Directed by – BRUCE JAMIESON
- Produced by – ALICE DE SOUSA
“Greenwich Playhouse for more than 20 years has produced an eclectic mix of mostly classic plays, from Shakespeare to Ibsen. If you have been a regular member of the audience, then you will certainly have a pretty good grasp of British and European theatre from the 17th to the 20th century. But the theatre's lease is not being renewed by the landlords, and the Playhouse is looking for a new home in the borough. In the meantime, it makes its swansong in its current premises with a sturdy revival of Webster's glittering 17th-century revenge drama.” - The Guardian ***
“This production conveys the atmosphere of John Webster’s powerful imagery. His dialogue lingers in the memory, including lines like that which describes a politician as ‘the devil’s quilted anvil’.” -The Public Reviews ****
“As their last show at the Greenwich Playhouse, 'The Duchess of Malfi' is a poignant swansong for producer/director team Alice de Sousa and Bruce Jamieson.” -Time Out
“Galleon’s choice of swan song was a masterstroke and that makes it doubly hard to believe there will be no more productions here by this brilliant and important company who have made such a major contribution not only to the local theatre scene but to the cultural landscape of London.” - Greenwich Visitor
“The Galleon Theatre Company’s stars shine in this final production and any new home in Greenwich will be lucky to house such a magnitude of talent.” - News Shopper
“Greenwich Playhouse after 17 years as the resident company at the venue it established, it chooses The Duchess of Malfi as its final production. Full of tales of treachery, deceit, resistance and courage, it’s quite a symbolic manoeuvre and one that the company embraces with relish. Heaping out lashings of violence, murder, and even a dash of sadism it is certainly a bold and striking curtain call.” - The Stage
“The production demonstrates the skill and ingenuity that has driven the company for so long. The choice of The Duchess of Malfi is a potent one. Not withstanding the sadness of such a situation, it makes for a most memorable last hurrah. Here’s hoping they find a new home soon.” - Exeunt Magazine****
“The actors speak the verse as it should be spoken – as both meaningful and musical.” - Playstosee.com
“We at Extra! Extra! Are very sorry to see Greenwich Playhouse, home of so many a fine production over the past 20 years, close in the name of Greed!” - Extra! Extra!
“The future may be uncertain for the Galleon Theatre Company but its swansong at the Greenwich Playhouse is not to be missed.” The Mercury ****
“To director Bruce Jamieson’s credit and aided by some fine ensemble acting the production fully recognizes the play’s undoubted and unnerving delight in violence, horror and the macabre but also shows this is tempered by Webster’s profoundly critical view of the machinations of power, the unpleasantness of misogynistic attitudes towards women and the brutality and corruption rampant among the high born and powerful. Webster may have been something of a nihilist, but he was most often a profoundly moral (and sometimes political) one.” - Playstosee.com
“This engaging production of John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi makes a fitting curtain call for the Galleon Theatre Company and the Greenwich Playhouse.”- Exeunt Magazine ****
“This is the final appearance of Galleon Theatre Company at this venue. It’s a tragedy for the area that a fine company is to be ousted for commercial reasons, but it’s to be hoped that appeals to Greenwich Council and local MPs will aid their search for new premises.” - The Public Reviews ****
“The Duchess of Malfi is an ambitious undertaking and it is fitting that the Galleon Theatre Company has pulled out the stops for a memorable final production at the Greenwich Playhouse. The production makes for an entertaining evening.” - Extra! Extra!
“As ever, the Greenwich Playhouse eschews the easy options and gives its clientele something not available in the West End, nor in the subsidised theatre nor, soon, even in Greenwich. I am not alone in wishing Alice de Sousa and Bruce Jamieson well in their search for a new home.” - Broadway World
“Galleon Theatre Company who have become known for staging classic plays, have chosen to go out with a bang rather than a whimper, in an elegant, intense and intelligent modern dress staging of Webster’s popular tragedy from 1612-1613. “ - Playstosee.com
“A characteristically robust production, and a great finale for this pioneering theatre group.” - Kentish Times
“The Playhouse’s sad swansong is a powerful play with which to end two decades of performances.” - News Shopper