Duet for One

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Duet for One is a two-hander play by Tom Kempinski (1938-)[1],

The original text

Set in London, it is a play about a world-famous concert violinist named Stephanie Anderson who is suddenly struck with multiple sclerosis. The story is based on the life of cellist Jacqueline du Pré, who was diagnosed with MS, and her husband, conductor Daniel Barenboim, and is only marginally fictionalized.

Duet for One premiered at the Bush Theatre in 1980 with Frances de la Tour and David de Keyser in the leading roles. It had successful runs in the West End and on Broadway. A major revival was staged by the Almeida Theatre in 2009, starring Juliet Stevenson and Henry Goodman. This revival too was lauded by the critics, and it subsequently transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End.

Translations and adaptations

A film adaptation was directed by Andrei Konchalovsky in 1986.

Performance history in South Africa

1994: Performed at the Laager Theatre, Market Theatre, Johannesburg, directed by Malcolm Purkey with John Kani and Lesley Nott. The piece opened on 21 July.




Ruphin Coudyzer. 2023. Annotated list of his photographs of Market Theatre productions. (Provided by Coudyzer)

Percy Tucker. 1997. Just the Ticket. My 50 Years in Show Business. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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