The Duchess of Malfi

We visited the Round Church to do a photoshoot for The Duchess of Malfi on Sunday a week ago. The director Anastasia Bruce-Jones had also procured 200 candles that we used to light the shoot. It is always fun to do something a bit different, and lighting a photoshoot entirely with candles in a beautiful old church is not something I do every day. The Duchess of Malfi has quite a large cast, which allowed us to use some of them as a background to add atmosphere to the photos, such as the cover photo above.

“Whether we fall by ambition, blood or lust,
Like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

In the court of Malfi, a nameless Duchess slips off her shoes to silence her footsteps, and takes her servant, and lover, by the hand. This movement will throw into harsh light the angles which comprise the final years of her short life; these appear onstage as the twisted limbs of a body, fraught with conflicting desires and suffocated by the jealous, incestuous obsession of Duke Ferdinand and the quiet, hungry Cardinal.

Over the course of twelve years, two women are entangled and set alight by their struggle to regain autonomy in a world where every choice has already been decided and free will is always an illusion.

There will be sheets, soot, shadows, red lights, and those shoes…

That pair of hanging shoes.

Kate Marston and Ben Walsh. Here one candle was not enough to light Kate, so we used three for her.
Ben Walsh
Kate Marston
Anastasia Bruce-Jones, the director.
Ben Walsh, Kate Marston and Joe Tyler Todd. The shoes hanging around Kate’s neck is a symbol of oppression.
Isobel Laidler, Elise Hagen, Isaac Jordan, Saskia West, Maya Yousif, Calum Maney, Alicia Hussey, Evie Smith, Eve French, Abbas Khan and Sabrina Gilby. Far back: Ben Walsh and Joe Tyler Todd. Middle: Kate marston and Gilbert Dicks. I really liked that we had so many people on set, it added to the atmosphere of the photos.
Joe Sefton, Kate Marston and the kids
Joe Sefton and Kate Marston
Joe Sefton and Kate Marston in the middle. Evie Smith, Calum Maney, Saskia West, Eve French, Abbas Khan, Alicia Hussey and Maya Yousif in the background.
Kate and her kids. For this shot we placed the shadow people in the foreground, to create a framing. Note the melted wax dripping down from Kate’s candle, it just kept on growing throughout the evening.
Saskia West, Evie Smith, Eve French, Sabrina Gilby, Maya Yousif, Alicia Hussey, Abbas Khan

The Duchess of Malfi poster designed by Oliver Baldock with information about where and when you can see the play.


Kate Marston and Joe Sefton

A big thank you to the cast and crew of Malfi for a really fun photoshoot! Wish I was in Cambridge to see the final production! Book your tickets so you do not miss this! They perform 8-12 November 2016, at the ADC Theatre.

You can read more about the play in the Varsity preview.

Reviews: Tab (4/5), Varsity (3/5), TCS (3/10)

The Duchess – Kate Marston
Antonio – Joe Sefton
Philario – Samuel Broadway
Silvia – Ayla Boz
Florizel – Gilbert Dicks
Bosola – Sabrina Gilby
Ferdinand – Ben Walsh
The Cardinal – Joe Tyler Todd
Cariola – Isobel Laidler
Delio – Georgina Taylor
Sleeper – Zoe Morris, Eve French, Sneha Sen, Saskia West, Beth Hindhaugh, Evie Smyth, Natalie Reeve, Georgia Cassidy, Elise Hagan, Alicia Hussey, Eleanor Burke, Maya Yousif
The Marquis of Pescara – Calum Maney
Castruccio – Jerome Burelbach
Silvio – Joe Pieri
Malatesti – Isaac Jordan
Roderigo – Abbas Khan
Grisolan – Dylan Smith
Courtier – Peter Chappell, George Booth-Clibborn

Violin – Prishita Maheshwari-Aplin, Tabitha Bardsley
Viola – Anna Semple, Michelle Spielberg
Cello – Catherine Porter
Flute – Charlotte Eves
Clarinet – Imogen Cassels
Trumpet – Ed Liebrecht
Bassoon – Siobhan Connellan

Production Team
Director – Anastasia Bruce-Jones
Producer – Georgia Humphrey
Deputy Stage Manager – Issy Houston
Assistant Director – Myles O’Gorman, Louis Norris
Associate Producer – Eleanor Mitchell
Education Officer – Amelia Oakley, Gabby Koumis
Technical Director – Toby Molyneux
Costume Designer – Christina Maurice
Publicity Designer – Oliver Baldock
Musical Director – Anthony Gray
Composer / Assistant Musical Director – Gary Rushton
Travelling Set Designer – Jack Parham
Assistant Lighting Designer – Sally Pearson
Assistant Producer – Evelyn Henderson-Child
Stage Manager – Caitlin Walsh
Assistant Stage Manager – Emma Morgan
Choreographer – Maddy Galbraith
Electrician / Lighting Designer – Noah Fram
Photographer – Johannes Hjorth
Headshots Photographer – Benedict Flett

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One Comment

  1. Anna Bruce-Jones (Anastasia's mother)
    November 19, 2016

    Johannes – your photos are atmospheric and have a mesmerising quality: I feel drawn into them. I saw them first in the programme, but then had to seek out the full set at the first opportunity. BRAVO!
    What a shame you weren’t able to see the play: I think that you would have appreciated not just the exceptional performances, but the visually compelling touches and artistic elements we saw on stage at times throughout the play.

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