The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster

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Grisly and tragic, The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster, tells a sinister tale of corruption, control and unrequited love, playing on the University Theatre stage, March 21 – 25 at 7:30 pm nightly. Written in 1613, this masterpiece has remained a quintessential play of its genre and held in high regard as a classic Jacobean drama.

Director and drama faculty, Ron Chambers, adapted Webster’s play for a modern cast and audience, preserving the script’s gritty dialogue and complicated characters, setting their story against a fantastic world without a specific time period. With set designed by Donal Atkinson and costumes designed by drama faculty, Leslie Robison-Greene, audiences are immersed in land that harkens to a scene out of a George R.R. Martin novel.

“The world we have created is our own,” says Chambers. “It is as corrupt and brutal as the subject matter – a fantasy world in many respects.”

The tale begins with the Duchess, a recent widow, falling in love with Antonio. Her two brothers, Ferdinand and the Cardinal, hungry for power and fortune, issue a decree that she must never marry. As she and Antonio plot to elope and flee her brothers’ treacherous claws, they are quickly deceived by Ferdinand’s spy, and their plans are interrupted by the deceiving brothers. As the plot descends into chaos, and Ferdinand and the Cardinal descend into lunacy, the Duchess and Antonio remain resolute despite the uncertainty of their fates.

“Webster was a contemporary of Shakespeare, and this play is not just a great example of a canonical play, but was also written with incredible imagery and language for our cast of students to sink their teeth into,” says Chambers.

Tickets for The Duchess of Malfi are available at the U of L Box Office, Monday – Friday (12:30 pm – 3:30 pm) or by calling (403) 329-2616. Tickets are also available online: Ticket prices are $18 regular, $13 senior/alumni, $12 students.

Regular - $18
Senior/Alumni - $13
Student - $12

Purchase tickets online at, at the Box Office, or over the phone 403-329-2616


Faculty of Fine Arts | | 403-329-2616