The Duchess [of Malfi]

The Duchess [of Malfi]
In a new version by Zinnie Harris after John Webster
A Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Citizens Theatre co-production.

‘You should know: I sing at parties, I wear colourful dresses, I am headstrong, I won’t wear my hair up because you say I should, or do this because you prefer it, in fact I might do the other just to be contrary, but I am utterly and always myself.’

Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi is the most thrilling and chilling of the Jacobean revenge tragedies – an exploration of male rage and female resistance as two brothers try and control their sister, block her marriage and repress her agency with fatal results.

Webster’s dark tale of bloody treachery will be fuelled and retooled by Zinnie Harris’ insight, vivid imagery and dazzling prose which have been so heralded in her great adaptation of The Oresteia, This Restless House, (Citizens Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland) and her more recent versions of Ibsen’s The Master Builder (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, which sold out at the Edinburgh International Festival and returned to great acclaim for The Lyceum Season 2017/18.

"a bloody and brilliant piece of work."
The Herald

Contains strong adult scenes of violence and sexual violence which some audiences may find disturbing 

Cast and Credits

CAST (in alphabetical order)
Adam Best Bosola
George Costigan Cardinal
Eleanor Kane Musician
Graham Mackay-Bruce Antonio
Fletcher Mathers Cariola/Doctor
Angus Miller Ferdinand
Kirsty Stuart Duchess
Adam Tompa Delio
Leah Walker Julia

Director and Writer Zinnie Harris
Designer Tom Piper
Composer Oguz Kaplangi
LX Designer Ben Ormerod
Sound Designer MJ McCarthy
Video Designer Jamie Macdonald
Movement Director Kally Lloyd-Jones
Fight Director Renny Krupinski
Dramaturg Frances Poet
Casting Director Laura Donnelly
Associate Designer Max Johns
Assistant Director Isla Cowan


The Audience Reviews

Brilliant reviews from Press and Audiences alike make The Duchess a 'must-see'!

Introducing the Duchess

Kirsty Stuart (Shetland) takes time out from shooting our new poster to tell us all about her character and the play.

Introducing the Cardinal

George Costigan (Line of Duty, Happy Valley) sat down with us at the beginning of rehearsals to tell us all about his character and why Zinnie's script is one of the best he's read.

Dates, Times & Prices

17 May - 8 June 2019

Friday 17, Saturday 18 and Monday 20 May, 7.30pm
£10 (Preview tickets on sale from 15 April)

EVENINGS, 7:30pm
Tuesday - Saturdays

MATINEES from 22 May, 2pm
Wednesdays and Saturdays

Running time: 2hrs 20minutes, plus 20 minute interval

For Access performances see below


Individual Tickets

Tuesday - Saturday: £16 - £32

Wednesday and Saturday: £14 - £28.50

from £10, not available on Premium Seats
For full details on concession pricing please contact Box Office on 0131 248 4848

Unreserved seating, all tickets £10
On sale 15 April


Thursday 30 May, 7.30pm
Touch Tour, 6.15pm
Saturday 1 June, 2pm
Touch Tour, 12.45pm

Wednesday 29 May, 7.30pm

Saturday 1 June, 2pm

  • Book Accessible performances here

Read The Lyceum's Access Statement here

Take Part

Tuesday 28 May
Takes place in the Stalls after the evening's performance.

  • FREE, no ticket required

Friday 31 May, 5:30pm
LYT will be doing a series of short performances in response to the show on the main stage, just before the show.

Friday 7 June, 5pm
Why Do We Want Blood? (Particularly the Blood of Women)

Saturday 1 June, 10am-4.30pm
The Duchess [of Malfi]: Renaissance to Modern Day Dramaturgy

Press Coverage


"a bloody and brilliant piece of work."
The Herald

"slick and streamlined, a towering adaptation"
The Stage

"a bloody revenge tragedy made marvellously modern"
The Telegraph

"acutely right for our times." 
The Times

"Kirsty Stuart’s duchess provides a defiant centre"
The Guardian

"a dream never imagined Webster"
The Scotsman


"brilliant, timely play."
The Skinny  

"causing tremors in the Royal Lyceum"
Young Perspective

"Gripping, terrifying and mesmerising"

"...this production is hard to beat."

"grips you in your seat." 
Edinburgh Guide

“A triumph”



“... even though there is a stage full of blood, the play offers a way forward. There's no point in putting an audience through all this darkness without saying there's another way of doing things." Zinnie Harris gets interviewed by The Herald, where she discussed her play and it's importance. Read Here

"I remember being completely caught up in the drama and the story" Zinnie Harris talks to Grant Stott on BBC Radio Scotland about adapting Webster's #DuchessofMalfi for The Lyceum - the same theatre where she first encountered the play as a teenager. Listen Here


Rehearsal photos:

Production photos: