Duet For One

Play by Tom Kempinski. Stephanie Abrahams, a brilliant concert violinist, who seemingly has it all, is forced to re-evaluate her life when struck down by an unforeseen tragedy. Faced with a truth too difficult to comprehend she consults psychiatrist Dr Feldmann and through a series of highly charged encounters is led to examine her deepest emotions and finally to consider a future without music.

1980: Original West End London Production

1985: UK Television Premiere on BBC One

2009: 1st West End London Revival


1980: Original West End London Production

Previewed 13 February 1980, Opened 15 February 1980, Closed 8 March 1980 at the Bush Theatre
Previewed 16 September 1980, Opened 23 September 1980, Closed 25 July 1981 at the Duke of York's Theatre

The cast at London's Bush Theatre and the West End's Duke of York's Theatre featured Frances de la Tour as 'Stephanie Abrahams' and David de Keyser as 'Dr Alfred Feldmann'.

Directed by Roger Smith, with designs by Caroline Beaver.

The role 'Stephanie Abrahams' was played by Frances de la Tour for the entire run, with the exception of the performances from Monday 6 to Monday 20 April 1981 when the role was played by Sarah Wynter.

The role of 'Dr Alfred Feldmann' was played by David de Keyser for the entire run, with the exception of th performances from Monday 23 March to Saturday 4 April 1981 when the role was played by Chris Johnston.


1985: UK Television Premiere on BBC One

Sunday 31 March 1985 on BBC One Television

The cast featured Frances de la Tour as 'Stephanie Abrahams' and David de Keyser as 'Dr Alfred Feldmann'.

Directed by Carol Wiseman.


2009: 1st West End London Revival

Previewed 22 January 2009, Opened 29 January 2009, Closed 14 March 2009 at the Almedia Theatre
Previewed 7 May 2009, Opened 12 May 2009, Closed 1 August 2009 at the Vaudeville Theatre

A major revival of Tom Kempinski's gripping and deeply moving psychological drama Duet for One in London starring Juliet Stevenson and Henry Goodman.

The cast at London's Almeida Theatre and the West End's Vaudeville Theatre featured Juliet Stevenson as 'Stephanie Abrahams', and Henry Goodman as 'Dr Feldmann'.

Directed by Matthew Lloyd, with designs by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Jason Taylor, and sound by John Leonard.

Juliet Stevenson's West End credits include Imogen Stubbs' We Happy Few (Gielgud Theatre 2004), and Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Barbican Pit Theatre 1986).

Henry Goodman's London theatre credits include Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick musical Fiddler On The Roof (Savoy Theatre 2007), Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party (Duchess Theatre 2005), Stephen Sondheim's Follies (Royal Festival Hall 2002), and the Cy Coleman, David Zippel and Larry Gelbart musical City of Angels (Prince of Wales Theatre 1993).

"As Juliet Stevenson's wittily sarcastic Stephanie starts shedding layers, Tom Kempinski weaves in her relationships with her dead mother, difficult father, composer husband and even her lack of children to produce a multifaceted portrait of a highly intelligent woman facing up to a life without the one thing that really matters. Matthew Lloyd cleverly resists personalising her antagonistic relationship with Henry Goodman's buttoned-up but profoundly compassionate Feldmann. Whatever games Stephanie tries to play... her illness is always bigger than they are. Instead they are ultimately united by their humanity. Stevenson is vividly raw, mercurial and heart-wrenching, while Goodman subtly conveys the measure of his own restrained but deeply felt suffering. It's a wonderful evening." The London Metro

"I've not seen Juliet Stevenson so entertaining: a sharply sardonic woman giving the self-appointed guru an earful. Yet you sympathise with him, too, for the bruising flak he takes in releasing her demons... Still, what's really riveting about Matthew Lloyd's production is that both his stars are on scintillating form. This has to be one of the treats of the year, in terms of acting. With a silvery beard and mittel-European accent, Henry Goodman manages to have more flecked humanity than a mere archetype. He makes you oscillate, half-doubting and half-trusting Feldmann's sagacity. Meanwhile, Stevenson gradually exposes the hopelessness masked by her high-powered manner. She rises impressively to her closing impassioned speeches about music and makes an unnervingly credible invalid, her angular head looking too large for her skinny body." The Independent on Sunday

"The wonderfully imperious Juliet Stevenson plays a concert violinist whose career and safe, middle-class routine has been brought to a premature end by multiple sclerosis. She has begun seeing Henry Goodman's dusty old shrink who helps her, over a series of often painful sessions, come to terms with the grim new landscape of her life. It's all the little things Miss Stevenson does that makes her wheelchair-bound Stephanie Abrahams so devastatingly convincing... Playing what amounts to her foil in Tom Kempinski's drama, Goodman's Dr Feldmann is more introverted, at least initially. As the director Matthew Lloyd gets the game of psychological ping-pong really going, Feldmann becomes suddenly alive and one finds oneself wondering who is really the patient." The Sunday Telegraph

Duet For One in London at the Vaudeville Theatre previewed from 7 May 2009, opened on 12 May 2009, and closed on 1 August 2009.