Lydia Wilson is back on stage, hurrah! Haven't seen her since she played Kate in Charles III back in 2014 and seeing her as the Duchess of Malfi reminded me how much I've missed her on stage.
And it was a great way to round off my year of theatre-going, I love a good, gruesome piece of Jacobean drama.
The Duchess of Malfi is a revenge tragedy sparked by the widowed Duchess deciding to defy her powerful brothers and not only marry but marry 'beneath her'.
Her siblings' instructions are motivated by a desire to inherit the Duchess' wealth, snobbery and, in the case of her deranged twin Ferdinand (Jack Riddiford) incestuous lust.
Power and greed
It is a play about power and greed and women's lack of currency in society.
The threat to the Duchess is evidence even before her secret marriage to Antonio (Khalid Abdalla) her gentle former steward.
When her brother picks up a dagger, a family heirloom, during a conversation her nervousness and discomfort marks him out as already dangerous and volatile.