My Last Duchess.

Well this week’s trip down memory lane takes us back two years ago and our production of ‘The Duchess of Malfi’. Though not to everyone’s taste it was certainly an ambitious step to take on the world of Jacobean tragedy with its murderous plots, elaborate twists and turns and rather excessive, if at times slightly comedic, violence. Many of you may recall John Webster, the author of this revenge classic, as the boy who liked to play with mice and who, when talking about ‘Romeo & Juliet’, ‘liked it when she stabbed herself’ in the film ‘Shakespeare in Love’. Memories come back of a very fraught time and a production plagued with issues, difficulties and unfulfilled ambitions but also of the great enthusiasm, spirit and talent that is to be found within The Matchbox. Like some phantasm of the past, images come wafting back of the crisis meeting a week before curtain up where the three hour extended remixed version had to be cut down to a more manageable two and a quarter hours; I will always be grateful to John Mackintosh, literary butcher, for his work at that time.

Gosh, I am getting all dewy eyed thinking about it, and is that a tightening in my chest? I had better curtail my recall for fear of doing myself a mischief but despite this play being an experiment that didn’t fulfil expectations in many ways and was at one point something of a Matchbox ‘Ishtar’ (, looking back, it was a play that challenged, elicited some magnificent performances, explored a period of theatre not often taken on in the world of church hall drama and, ultimately, it’s worth doing that once in a while!

So, I am off to look at my ragged, blood-stained, mud spattered shirt for a wistful moment or two- funny the trophies we keep isn’t it- but I’ll be back online very soon with news of a couple of events beyond The Matchbox that might just pique your interest and, with any luck, some hot off the press info on our forthcoming season. Oh and stay tuned as well for updates on ‘Murder Deferred’, ticket information is now available on the official site

Catch you soon

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