Why See The White Devil?
John Webster's seminal, yet rarely performed tragedy
Often overshadowed by Shakespeare, John Webster was another contemporary playwright during late Tudor times. His seminal tragedy of manners, The White Devil is an exploration into the difference between self-perception and cold reality. Directed by Annie Ryan, this is the penultimate play in Emma Rice's inaugural Wonder Nor season at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. A thrilling story of revenge taking place in and out of the flickering shadows!
Set in Renaissance Rome, passions not so much smoulder as burst into flame with the drastic actions of one man to possess another man's wife. Orchestrating the murder of her husband and his wife, it backfires when the object of his lust is convicted of the murders. However, things take an even darker turn when a banished Count returns after being pardoned, and swears revenge - for he was in love with the murdered woman.
Bizaarely enough, this story was based on real-life events that occurred in Rennaissance Italy, and sets out to satirise the lusty Italian psysche; unfortunately, its slick lampooning of the powerful empire originally flopped when it was first performed in a largely lower-class theatre. It was later revived for a different, more sophisticated audience a few years later.
The flickering and shadowy staging at the Playhouse adds to a thrilling and dangerous atmosphere, where death lurks just beyond the shadows of the candlelight.
Previews from: 26 January 2017
Opening night: 1 February 2017
Suitable for ages 13+
Cast and Creative
Directed by Annie Ryan
Written by John Webster
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