Juliet Stevenson and Henry Goodman star in Duet For One, Tom Kempinski’s acclaimed 1980 two-hander about a woman coming to terms with the consquences of a devastating illness.
Duet For One centres on celebrated concert violinist Stephanie Abrahams, who is forced to rethink her career and her life after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. On the advice of her husband, a successful composer, Stephanie consults psychiatrist Dr Feldmann, whose probing questions delve deep into her complex personality. For the first time, Stephanie is forced to consider a future without music.
Kempinski’s award-winning play received its world premiere at the Bush theatre in 1980 and subsequently enjoyed a year-long West End run and a Broadway transfer. Duet For One was made into a film in 1986 starring Julie Andrews.
Playing Stephanie in this revival of Duet For One is acclaimed British stage and screen actress Stevenson, who was last seen on stage at the National Theatre in The Seagull and has previous stage credits including Alice Trilogy, The Country, We Happy Few, Private Lives and Death And The Maiden, for which she won a Laurence Olivier Award in 1992. She is well known for her screen roles in Truly, Madly, Deeply, Mona Lisa Smile, Bend It Like Beckham and TV’s The Politican’s Wife.
Goodman, who plays the psychiatrist, has numerous stage credits including The Hypochondriac at the Almeida theatre, The Birthday Party at the Duchess theatre, The Merchant Of Venice, Guys And Dolls and Angels In America for the National Theatre and numerous credits for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Equally at home in musical theatre as in drama, Goodman created the role of Billy Flynn in Chicago and was last seen as Tevye in the revival of Fiddler On The Roof at the Savoy theatre.
Duet For One is directed by Matthew Lloyd, Artistic Director of the Actors Centre and previously Artistic Director at Manchester Royal Exchange. His work in London includes The Fastest Clock In The Universe, Slavs! and The Lucky Ones at the Hampstead theatre.
Playwright Kempinski’s other plays include Sell Out, Flashpoint, Addicted To Love and Separation.
This production of Duet For One was originally staged at the Almeida theatre in early 2009. For more information, please read the First Night Feature (from the Almeida opening) or the Big Interview with Juliet Stevenson.