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A Fifty-Minute Duchess of Malfi by John Webster abridged by Bill Tordoff
RolesMinimum Male roles = 11. Minimum Female roles = 5. Minimum total with doubling = 17. Minimum total without doubling = 25. No chorus. Characters include a small boy and optional non-speaking servants, etc.
Run TimeAround 50 minutes. [Estimated!]
StyleAbridgement of John Webster's 'The Duchess of Malfi', with the original text cut down to 50 minutes or so.
(The abridgement is copyrighted, so we charge for scripts and copying rights, but performances are royalty-free.)
SynopsisThe eponymous heroine is a rich widow. Her brothers - a duke and a cardinal - want control of her wealth and so have forbidden her from marrying. They set the loyal but troubled Bosola to spy on her, and he discovers that the duchess has, in secret, married Antonio, her steward. The news sets the Duke and Cardinal into such a rage that nobody escapes unscathed.
(Whilst the abridgement reduces the length of the text, all of Webster's gory details are preserved - which is more than can be said for the principals.)
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