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The Duchess of Malfi & The White Devil

By: John Webster
Narrated by: full cast, Shaun Dingwall, Anna Maxwell-Martin, Pippa Nixon, Shaun Dooley, Frances de la Tour, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Jude Akuwudike
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Publisher's Summary

A BBC radio full-cast drama collection of John Webster's twin masterpieces, plus two documentaries examining their importance and enduring popularity.

One of the great Jacobean playwrights and a contemporary of William Shakespeare, John Webster is best known for his classic revenge tragedies based on real events in Renaissance Italy, The Duchess of Malfi and The White Devil. Both are included here, along with two insightful programmes putting the plays in their historical context and probing the life of their mysterious author - a shadowy character about whom very little is known.

The Duchess of Malfi - When the widowed young Duchess dares to defy her brothers and marry again, the corrupt duo begin a chilling campaign to destroy her.... Intercut with the music of Jimi Hendrix and Laura Marling, this visceral production moves from gentle romanticism to darkest cruelty. Introduced by Professor Emma Smith from Hertford College, Oxford, and starring Pippa Nixon as the Duchess of Malfi.

The White Devil - Set in a murky 1950s underworld of shifting alliances, betrayals and sudden violence, this radical reinterpretation of Webster's bloodthirsty tragedy tells the story of Brachiano, who falls violently in love with the married Vittoria Corombona. Desperate to possess her, he arranges the murder of her husband and his wife - but in doing so, he makes a deadly enemy.... Shaun Dingwall stars as Brachiano, with Anna Maxwell Martin as Vittoria.

Role Play - Michael Billington talks to acclaimed actresses Eleanor Bron and Juliet Stevenson about The Duchess of Malfi and its relevance today, and discuss their experiences playing the lead role.

The Skull Beneath the Skin - Elizabethan scholar and biographer Muriel Bradbrook delves into Webster's life and plays, exploring how his childhood and family background informed his writing.

Cast and credits:

Written by John Webster.

The Duchess of Malfi

The Duchess of Malfi - Pippa Nixon

Bosola - Shaun Dooley

Antonio - Sandy Grierson

Ferdinand - Alexander Cobb

Cardinal - Jonathan Keeble

Delio/Pilgrim - Kevin Harvey

Cariola/Julia - Jenny Platt

Silvio/Pilgrim - Rupert Hill

Doctor - Lloyd Hutchinson

Abridged and adapted by Pauline Harris and Emma Smith.

Directed by Pauline Harris.

Original songs arranged and composed by Jules Maxwell and sung by Shaun Dooley and Jules Maxwell.

Introduction by Professor Emma Smith from Hertford College, Oxford.

First broadcast BBC Radio 3, 11th July 2021.

The White Devil

Flamineo - Patrick Kennedy

Vittoria - Anna Maxwell Martin

Brachiano - Shaun Dingwall

Francisco - Peter Wight

Monticelso - Sean Baker

Ludovico - Harry Myers

Isabella - Christine Kavanagh

Gasparo - David Seddon

Camillo - Sam Dale

Cornelia - Frances de la Tour

Marcello - Michael Shelford

Giovanni - Lloyd Thomas

Hortensio - Tony Bell

Zanche - Pippa Bennett Warner

Dr Julio - Jude Akuwudike

Adapted and directed by Marc Beeby.

First broadcast BBC Radio 3, 15th August 2010

Role Play

Presented by Michael Billington.

With Eleanor Bron and Juliet Stevenson.

Produced by Fiona McLean.

First broadcast BBC Radio 3, 16th July 1997.

The Skull Beneath the Skin

Presented by Muriel Bradbrook

First broadcast BBC Radio 3, 29th October 1980.

©2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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