Archives for John Webster

“I am Duchess Of Malfi still”: how to create a 1950s upper-class alter-ego

It’s a year to the day since Lauren John Joseph auditioned for Cover Her Face, back when it was not much more than a good idea with a bad working title. As they were in Berlin at the time, we did it over Skype, but even the inevitable picture breakup and dropped connections couldn’t conceal how the part should be theirs. Since finishing Cover Her Face earlier this year, Lauren John Joseph has been developing a tantalising new show at Battersea Arts Centre (The Last Night in the Life of Alexander Geist, which should hit the stage next year); jetting back

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The marriage night is the entrance into some prison: getting out of textual jail in rehearsal

Long before we started rehearsals for Cover Her Face, our adaptation of John Webster’s The Duchess Of Malfi as a 1950s trans honour killing, we spent a lot of time working on the text. By the first readthrough, we thought we had cracked most, if not all, of the problems we had set ourselves by re-casting the protagonist as a wealthy socialite from 1950s London who wished to live as a woman (around the time that French gynaecologist Georges Burou was conducting the first wave of post-war gender reassignment operations at his clinic in Casablanca.) Many ‘sisters’ had become ‘brothers’,

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