Tom Bateman, Mark Bonnar, Harry Lloyd and Finbar Lynch join Eve Best in John Webster's great Jacobean tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi, directed by Jamie Lloyd. Eve Best last appeared at The Old Vic in London and on Broadway opposite Kevin Spacey in A Moon for the Misbegotten in the 2006/2007 Season. The Duchess of Malfi will open at The Old Vic on 28 March 2012, previewing from 17 March.
The Duchess of Malfi is set in the Italian Renaissance court of Amalfi and tells the dark, bloody story of the recently widowed Duchess (Eve Best) who secretly marries her lover and steward against the wishes of her powerful brothers. As jealousy, madness and bloodshed surround her, the Duchess retains her calm strength and dignity, even in the face of death.
Webster's The Duchess of Malfi was written for and performed by The King's Men in London between 1612 and 1614, and was published in 1623 under the title The Tragedy of the Duchesse of Malfy. Considered Webster's masterpiece, its poetic language and its exploration of female courage in the face of male corruption has earned Webster a reputation as one of England's greatest dramatists. The nightmarish violence and the play's open commentary on women's sexuality and recognition of the power of psychological torment have made The Duchess of Malfi a subject for fierce debate since its beginning.
Jamie Lloyd's Donmar Warehouse directing credits include Inadmissible Evidence, Passion (Olivier
nomination for Best Musical Revival, Evening Standard Award for Best Musical, Whatsonstage
nomination for Best Musical Revival), Piaf (also Vaudeville, Olivier nomination for Best Musical Revival). He has also directed The Faith Machine and The Pride (Royal Court; Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement for The Pride), Salome (for Headlong at Hampstead), The Little Dog Laughed (Garrick; Whatsonstage nomination for Best Comedy), Three Days of Rain (Apollo; Olivier Award nomination for Best Revival, Whatsonstage nomination for Best Revival), The Lover and The Collection (Comedy) in the West End, The Caretaker (Sheffield Crucible and Tricycle) and most recently She Stoops to Conquer (The National Theatre).
Eve Best's most recent theatre credits include Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare's Globe, directed by Jeremy Herrin, The Homecoming on Broadway (Tony nomination for Best Actress), A Moon for the Misbegotten, which earned her a Best Actress Olivier nomination at The Old Vic and a Tony nomination on Broadway, in addition to winning The Drama Desk & Outer Critics' Circle Awards for Best Actress. She won the Olivier Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Hedda Gabler at the Almeida and subsequently at the Duke of York's. Credits at The National Theatre include Mourning Becomes Electra, Three Sisters, The Coast of Utopia, The Cherry Orchard and The Heiress. Recent screen credits include her portrayal of the Duchess of Windsor in the Oscar winning film The King's Speech and Dr Eleanor O'Hara in the hit American television drama Nurse Jackie.
Tom Bateman will soon be seen in the BBC's lavish production of Parade's End by Tom Stoppard. His
recent stage credits include Trevor Nunn's production The Lion in Winter at the Theatre Royal
Haymarket and Much Ado About Nothing at Wyndham's Theatre with David Tennant and Catherine