When your whole life has been focused around one aim, one passion, one love, how do you cope when that is taken away?
That is the question at the heart of Tom Kempinski’s Duet for One, the next production by Mega Brill Productions at the Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich, October 7-9.
Duet for One is an emotionally engaging two-hander which tells the story of Stephanie Abrahams, a virtuoso concert violinist, struck down by multiple sclerosis at the peak of her career.
Unable to play any more, she is struggling to come to terms with the loss of the great gift that has brought her happiness, her husband and her life’s purpose.
Concerned for her sanity, Stephanie’s husband, a famous composer, sends her to see psychiatrist Dr Feldmann, a man of enormous conviction and insight. Over the course of six sessions, Feldmann uses gentle wit and perceptive questioning to explore the impact the loss of her talent is having on Stephanie, teasing out her deepest feelings about her troubled past and uncertain future, and leading her towards a vision of a life without music.
This production by Mega Brill Productions features Jayne Lindill and Nigel Andrews in the roles of Stephanie and Feldmann and is directed by Tony Flack, who also directed Lindill in Shirley Valentine at the Seckford Theatre last year.
“It’s a stunning piece of work, a play full of truth and emotion, “ he said. “Yes it has its darker moments, but it also has its lighter side – flashes of sharp wit and humour. It all makes for an entertaining, thought-provoking and moving night at the theatre.”
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As Flack says, everyone has to deal with loss at some point in their life and we all cope in different ways.
“In Stephanie’s case it’s taken her to the edge and Feldmann needs all his skill to rescue her from self-destruction.
“Much of the intrigue and entertaining aspect of Duet is the interplay between these two strong, proud characters. Stephanie determinedly resists Feldmann’s attempts to make her face up to the reality of her situation, baiting and goading him. He remains coolly, professionally detached – but for how long?”
Duet for One is loosely based on the experience of internationally renowned cellist Jacqueline Du Pr�, who developed MS when she was at the top of her musical career.
The play was first performed in 1980 to great acclaim and a revised version at the Almeida Theatre in London in 2009 with Juliet Stephenson and Henry Goodman in the roles of Abrahams and Feldmann was equally applauded.
A film version of the play starred Julie Andrews, Alan Bates and Max Von Sydow.
The play is rarely produced outside London’s West End and Flack said the choice of Duet for One reflects Mega Brill’s wish to produce outstanding drama, which both entertains and moves audiences. The company is also supporting the local MS Society with this production.
Three performances only – don’t miss it.
n Tickets 01473 211498 www.easternangles.co.uk