Archives for Matt Houlbrook

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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