Duet for One Belinda Lang and Jonathan Coy Credit: Robert Day

REVIEW | Duet For One | UK Tour

Following its highly acclaimed run in the West End, Duet for One is a simple yet captivating two-hander that captures the vulnerability we are left with when stripped of the thing that defines us.

Stephanie is a renowned violinist who is undergoing therapy after being diagnosed with MS. After living her life for music and spending her whole existence working on craft, the disease takes away her ability to play. Growing up with music and meeting her husband, a famous composer, through the profession, we meet Stephanie in a therapist’s office. Despite her strong façade and inability to face the fact she needs help, we slowly see her lose her ability to put on a brave face.

It’s a mesmerising piece of theatre as we watch her converse on stage with Oliver Coy as Doctor Feldmann, a laidback and solemn therapist who lets Belinda talk but examines her being. As the play progresses, we seem him start to unravel Stephanie’s inner thoughts and feelings. Coy gives a superb performance as he captures the intelligence and intuitive nature of the doctor through his characterisation. Moving softly and speaking with a warm tone, we see Stephanie to begin to trust him.

Belinda Lang is simply sublime as the frustrated violinist who is witty and sarcastic. It’s compelling to watch her slowly shed her layers as she delves into her past, her relationships and her struggle to come to terms with her illness. It’s heart-breaking to watch her confidence and radiance diminish throughout the play.

Directed by Robin Lefevre, it’s a beautifully naturalistic performance that resonates and leaves you wondering what defines you and how you’d live your life without that definition. The dialogue is genuine and both Coy and Lang capture the relationship they create through their therapy sessions authentically.

It’s its production that would work much better slightly cut down and pushed into just one act, but the performances are impressive and it’s a thought-provoking piece of theatre executive in a really affecting way.

On at the Wolverhampton Grand until Saturday 5th of October before continuing on tour, tickets and information can be found online here.

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