The Duchess of Malfi

The Duchess of Malfi

3.5 (6) · Classic Drama

John Webster’s electrifying revenge tragedy about rage, resistance and a deadly lust for power.


When the Duchess falls in love with her steward Antonio, her corrupt brothers embark on a chilling plot to destroy her marriage, power and agency. What begins as a jealous plan to extinguish her love becomes a bloodthirsty quest to extinguish her life.

Critic reviews

There is something curiously cold-blooded about this new Almeida production


Frecknall finds – at least before the plot goes really bonkers gory in the second half – an unexpected stealth and stillness, and reveals a celebration of settled love before the expected riot of violence

The Observer

A medicine cabinet of wonders


Ultimately, it cannot be denied that Frecknall has style

Broadway World

A frustratingly bloodless evening

The Telegraph

Artful, ambitious and far too serious

The Times

Lydia Wilson is riveting as the strong-willed duchess in Rebecca Frecknall’s arresting update

The Guardian

An uneven take on Webster's classic


It all feels a bit too familiar

The Upcoming

Lydia Wilson is a phenomenal Duchess in Rebecca Frecknall’s revelatory rewiring of Webster’s gory tragedy

Time Out

Lydia Wilson is extraordinarily haunting in Webster where women don't die

Evening Standard

Rebecca Frecknall directs a production which ultimately finds its heart

The Arts Desk

Lydia Wilson is stunningly good in a tense and emotionally nuanced staging of Webster's bloody tragedy

The Stage

Date & time

Show ended
Sat 30 Nov - Sat 25 Jan, 2.30pm & 7.30pm


Almeida Theatre Islington N1 1TA London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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