John Webster

This tag is associated with 2 posts

‘Classics on TV: Jacobean tragedy on the Small Screen’, a BFI Southbank season

Screen Plays is delighted to announce a second BFI Southbank season that follows on from our successful ‘Greek tragedy on the small screen’ series last year. The new season, which runs from 25 March to 29 April, highlights television adaptations of Jacobean tragedy. Curated by John Wyver, it features productions based on plays by Thomas Middleton, William Rowley, John Ford and John Webster, as well as a rare showing of Hamlet at Elsinore (1964), a remarkable version of Shakespeare’s revenge tragedy. Continue reading

Stage 2: The Duchess of Malfi (BBC, 1972)

Playing at London’s The Old Vic until 9 June is a splendid staging by director Jamie Lloyd of John Webster’s great Jacobean tragedy. Forty years ago director James MacTaggart made a distinguished version of the play for BBC Television that is available in thirteen parts on YouTube (although it is missing the end credits) – and it is this recording that is the subject of my post. Shooting on videotape on location at Chastleton House, MacTaggart achieves a fluid and compelling production that is entirely credible (far from easy through the second-half bloodbath). Among its strengths are a stately but vibrant performance by Eileen Atkins as the Duchess and some truly remarkable chiaroscuro camera work. Continue reading

Emitron camera at Alexandra Palace