I used to love the Channel 4 comedy Drop The Dead Donkey so am excited that one of its stars, albeit in a very different role, is coming to Eastbourne at the end of November.
Haydn Gwynne will star as celebrated concert violinist Stephanie Abrahams in Tom Kempinski's play, Duet For One. This Calibre Productions tour is directed by Robin Herford and has been designed by Michael Holt. The play, which closely mirrors the life of cellist Jacqueline du Pre, premiered in 1980 at the Bush Theatre in London, which is reknowned for nurturing new plays and playwrights. It was also made into a film of the same name, released in 1986, which starred Julie Andrews, Alan Bates and Max Von Sydow.
Abrahams is forced to stop playing the violin when she is struck down by Multiple Sclerosis. Convinced that her life has no meaning without her music, she falls into despair, becoming increasingly isolated and even suicidal. The play takes the form of six sessions between Abrahams and her psychiatrist, Alfred Feldmann (William Gaunt), who is trying to get her to re-evaluate her life and identify some form of a future without the violin. Duet For One is dramatically compelling without being sentimental or mawkish and asks the huge question, how does someone continue living when all their hope has been taken away?
Devonshire Park Theatre, Tue 27th Nov - Sat 1st Dec, 19:45.
Wed & Sat matinees, 14:30.
Tickets, various prices, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person at the Tourist Information Office and the Box Office.