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Emotional, blood-drenched show marks the end for Greenwich Playhouse
A heartbreaking tale of murder, betrayal and adultery seems the perfect way to bid farewell as the last curtain falls on Greenwich Playhouse.
Galleon Theatre Company is performing Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi as its final production at the venue before it becomes homeless after nearly 20 years of treading its boards.
It was the first time I’d been to see one of the company’s plays when I went along to the haunting interpretation last week, and I left feeling very sad it would be the last in their beloved home.
The symbolic play opens with the Duke’s funeral and the Duchess’ secret marriage to servant–turned-lover Antonio follows swiftly afterwards.
Alice de Sousa portrays the Duchess with real dignity and strength with a constant undercurrent of palpable sadness.
The intimate setting of the Greenwich High Road venue provides a unique feeling of inclusion for the audience – something the West End is unable to offer.
Thanks to this we could sense the actors’ tension and everyone had a brilliant view of man-eating Julia, played by plucky Tanya Winsor, in her sexy nun’s habit and negligee.
Special mention must go to Damian Quinn who was truly outstanding as tortured soul Bosola.
As he is made to carry out unthinkable acts of violence he begins to hate himself for all his sins and desperately tries to redeem himself by telling the Duchess her beloved Antonio is not really dead.
In Bruce Jamieson’s production we see Bosola survive the violence and make it to the end of the play alive – a luxury Webster’s character does not traditionally enjoy.
Forced to relive his murderous wrongdoings for years to come, his survival could mean years of mental anguish ahead for Bosola, or being blessed with life could be Quinn’s reward for a sterling performance.
The Playhouse’s sad swansong is a powerful play with which to end two decades of performances.
Complete with leathers, tattoos, sadism and cynicism it brings Webster up to speed with our time while maintaining his beautiful, poetic prose.
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.
The show runs between Tuesday and Saturday from 7.30pm and on Sunday March 18 from 4pm.
Tickets are £13 and £10 for concessions.
For bookings call 0208 858 9256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org