Theatre News

Goodman & Stevenson Transfer Duet to West End

Olivier Award winners Juliet Stevenson and Henry Goodman (pictured) will reprise their performances in Tom Kempinski’s Duet for One (See News, 14 Oct 2008), which, following its run at the Almeida Theatre and a regional tour, will transfer to the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre for a limited 12-week season from 12 May 2009 (previews from 7 May).

In the two-hander, Stevenson is celebrated concert violinist Stephanie Abrahams. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she consults psychiatrist Dr Feldmann, played by Goodman, whose probing questions delve deep her complex personality and force her to consider a future without music.

Inspired by the real-life story of Jacqueline du Pre, Duet for One premiered in 1980 at the Bush, where Frances de la Tour and David Keyser starred, before transferring to the West End and Broadway. The 1986 Hollywood film starred Julie Andrews and Max von Sydow.

This new production – directed by Matthew Lloyd and designed by Lez Brotherston – opened on 29 January 2009 (previews from 22 January) at the Almeida, where it finishes tomorrow (14 March), and then launches a short tour to Bath, Windsor and Richmond Theatre, concluding on 4 April prior to the West End transfer.

Stevenson’s most recent stage credits include The Seagull, Alice Trilogy, The Country, We Happy Few and Private Lives. She won a Best Actress Olivier for Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Salesman. Her film credits include Truly Madly Deeply, Being Julia, Breaking and Entering and Bend It Like Beckham.

Goodman has most recently been seen on stage in Fiddler on the Roof, The Exonerated, The Birthday Party and, at the Almeida, The Hypochondriac. He’s won Oliviers for The Merchant of Venice and Assassins.

Duet for One is presented in the West End by Lee Dean and Jenny Topper. The production has lighting by Jason Taylor and sound by John Leonard. Currently at the Vaudeville Theatre, Alan Ayckbourn’s production of his own 1985 black comedy Woman in Mind, starring Janie Dee, is due to finish its limited season on 31 May (See News, 8 Dec 2008).

– by Terri Paddock