Almeida Theatre’s West End transfer of The Doctor joins the growing list of productions which have now been postponed to 2021 due the ongoing shutdown of UK theatres.
Robert Icke’s critically acclaimed drama was due to run at the Duke of York’s Theatre from April to July with Juliet Stevenson reprising her role as Doctor Ruth Woolf. Dates for the 2021 run are yet to be confirmed however Stevenson is still attached to the production.
A “provocative, wonderfully upsetting” (Independent) whirlwind of gender, race and identity politics, Stevenson plays a physician treating a young patient with sepsis. When a priest is sent by the girls parents to deliver the last rites, Ruth faces a moral dilemma, refuses him entry, and a national discussion occurs.
Freely adapted from Arthur Schnitzler’s Professor Bernhardi by Icke with a contemporary design by Hildegard Bechtler’s, this production is transported from 1912 Vienna to a London hospital in the present.
Speaking about the postponement, Juliet Stevenson said: “Very occasionally in a career, maybe once a decade if you’re lucky, you get the chance to perform in a play that speaks so powerfully to its time that it captures everyone’s hearts and minds. The Doctor did that last year at the Almeida, and was set to do it again in the West End.
I am thrilled that we will be back next Spring, and that audiences emerging from their seclusion will have the chance to see it… It couldn’t be more pertinent in its exploration of the ethical decisions doctors currently face on the front line today, and of much else besides – of things far beyond the realm of the merely newsworthy.”
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The Doctor will now be at the Duke of York’s Theatre in 2021, with dates to be announced.