hThe Duchess [of Malfi] | What's On | Citizens Theatre

The Duchess [of Malfi]

A Citizens Theatre and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh co-production
The Duchess [of Malfi]


In a new version by Zinnie Harris after John Webster

‘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 dark tale of bloody treachery 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.

Reflecting contemporary debates about female empowerment and the abuse of male power, this bold new interpretation is written and directed by Zinnie Harris. Zinnie has garnered huge critical success for her previous adaptations 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 (Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Edinburgh International Festival and DOT Theatre, Istanbul), which sold out at the Edinburgh International Festival. 

Part of our Citizens Women season. 

The Duchess [of Malfi] will be presented at Tramway whilst the Citizens Theatre building undergoes an exciting redevelopment. For details on how to get to Tramway click here


Blood-filled vengeance, murder and madness 

Six reasons to see The Duchess [of Malfi]

The Duchess' history with the Citz

"Dark, clever, funny and beautiful" - Audience reactions

Educational Resources

School resources relating to The Duchess [of Malfi] are also available from the resources section of our website. 

    4 Sep7.30pm Preview
    5 Sep7.30pm Preview
    6 Sep7.30pm
    7 Sep7.30pm
    10 Sep7.30pm
    11 Sep7.30pm
    12 Sep7.30pm
    13 Sep7.30pm Signed
    14 Sep2pm Audio Described Captioned
    14 Sep7.30pm
    17 Sep7.30pm
    18 Sep1.30pm
    18 Sep7.30pm
    19 Sep7.30pm
    20 Sep7.30pm
    21 Sep2pm
    21 Sep7.30pm
  • Cast & Creative Team

    Adam Best Bosola
    George Costigan Cardinal
    Eleanor Kane Musician
    Liam King (Robertson Trust Actor Intern) Executioner
    Graham Mackay-Bruce Antonio
    Fletcher Mathers Cariola/Doctor
    Angus Miller Ferdinand
    Kirsty Stuart Duchess
    Adam Tompa Delio
    Gabby Wong Julia 


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


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

"bloody excellent"
- Morning Star

"Webster’s plot that remains sickeningly familiar, more than 400 years on"
- The Scotsman

"There is a crystalline brilliance in Harris’s combination of the Renaissance and the modern"
- The Telegraph

"bold reworking of the John Webster gore-fest"
- The Guardian

"a bold, provocative choice of play for inclusion in the Citizens Women season... acutely right for our times"
- The Times

"Towering adaptation of Webster's revenge tragedy as an inditement of misogyny"
- The Stage

"gripping, terrifying and mesmerising"

"Kirsty Stuart's Duchess is a life-force of energy, blazing with independence and individuality"
- Whats On Stage

"brilliant, timely play"
- The Skinny

"a bold and powerful reinvention"
- Daily Business Magazine

"this production is hard to beat"
- AllEdinburghTheatre

"beautifully staged and cleverly directed"
- Bouquets & Brickbats


“... 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 speaks to Neil Cooper from The Herald about her new adaption and the importance of its themes.

"The Duchess of Malfi is a wonderfully rich tale of love, sex and hatred. It’s one of those plays that is written on a broad canvas, is hugely theatrical and tells a big story. It’s also an important story that will speak to any audience."

Zinnie Harris chats to The Skinny about male rage, female resistance, and updating Webster’s 17th century play for the present day


Photo Galleries

Running Time: 2 hours and 20 mins, plus an interval

​Deaf Theatre Club for The Duchess [of Malfi] will take place on Friday 13 Sep at 7.30pm

​By a copy of this bold new interpretation written by Zinnie Harris for £4