Theatre Review: Duet for One

13 Mar


Plot: Stephanie Abrahams (Juliet Stevenson), a brilliant concert violinist, who seemingly has it all, is forced to re-evaluate her life when struck down by multiple sclerosis. Faced with a truth too difficult to comprehend, she consults psychiatrist Dr Feldmann (Henry Goodman) and through a series of highly charged encounters is led to examine her deepest emotions and finally to consider a future without music.

It was after seeing Every Good Boy Deserves Favour with fellow theatre trotter Lynne that we decided to see another play, this time with her old pal Tony joining us in this outing. It was John Morrison’s review that prompted me to book the tickets. I know nothing about this 1980 revival of Tom Kempinski’s play and although it was emotionally draining, I still had a satisfying evening in the theatre and will try and figure out what to make of it. I was so looking forward to read my theatre programme only to find out that I left it in Tesco Metro in Islington when I did a late night grocery shopping. *sigh*

I am not into any of this psyhoanalysis stuff and agree with Lynne that it can even be more damaging than helpful. The performances from both Juliet Stevenson and Henry Goodman was amazing with that psychiatrist-client relationship coming through. I liked it when she started teasing him about caring for her, as she thought as healthcare professionals they are not supposed to. The play’s ending was left uncertain, does she come back for another session or does she commit suicide?

Duet for One- 3/5
Duet for One will be transferred to the West End at the Vaudeville Theatre with previews from 7 May

3 Responses to “Theatre Review: Duet for One”

  1. Holly March 16, 2009 at 10:47 pm #

    Emotionally draining pretty much sums it up! I wish I had bought the play script as I would like to be able to take some time to digest the arguments. I liked the set – it was very detailed and well built. I wonder if there were real vinyl records in all those sleeves…

  2. JohnnyFox March 21, 2009 at 8:41 am #

    I remember this play from its first incarnation and being hugely impressed with the emotional range of Frances de la Tour as Stephanie although what I didn’t know (in fact not until recently) was she was married to the author Tom Kempinski at the time, and he must have written it with her in mind.

    Stevenson can be extraordinary, too, ranging from cosy politician’s wives on television to being, I think, the first actress to produce copious snot on screen in ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ … but did you also know she played Desiree in A Little Night Music (I had no idea she could sing) with New York City Opera, no less. And that Jeremy irons was her Fredrik. Wish I’d seen that.

  3. Lesley Fielding August 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm #

    Don’t people read Diary of a Nobody anymore? A very Pooterish review, if I may say so, and one that I happened to come across because I left my laptop in Waitrose toilets and had to prove that it was mine to staff who found it.

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