Duet for One
|Duet for One|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andrei Konchalovsky|
|Written by||Tom Kempinski|
|Distributed by||Golan-Globus Productions Ltd.|
|25 December 1986 |
|Box office||$8,736 |
Duet for One is a 1986 British drama film adapted from the play, a two-hander by Tom Kempinski, about a world-famous concert violinist named Stephanie Anderson who is suddenly struck with multiple sclerosis. It is set in London, and directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. The story is based on the life of cellist Jacqueline du Pré, who was diagnosed with MS, and her husband, conductor Daniel Barenboim, and only marginally fictionalized.
Stephanie Anderson, a world-famous violinist, becomes unable to play because of multiple sclerosis. A depressed psychiatrist she sees is unable to help with her rage and frustration. Her star pupil, realizing he will learn nothing more, leaves her. Her husband departs with his young secretary, and her accompanist dies. Her fierce desire to be alone in her pain alienates everybody except her faithful maid. She gives all her musical effects to a totter (an itinerant scrap merchant), who she asks into her bed as well. Watching a videotape of a concert triumph, she takes an overdose but the maid breaks in to try and save her. In an epilogue, which may be a dream, the psychiatrist has become a friend while her ex-husband and former pupil come back to see her, as does the ghost of her accompanist.
- Julie Andrews: Stephanie Anderson
- Alan Bates: David Cornwallis
- Max von Sydow: Dr. Louis Feldman
- Rupert Everett: Constantine Kassanis
- Margaret Courtenay: Sonia Randvich
- Cathryn Harrison: Penny Smallwood
- Sigfrit Steiner: Leonid Lefimov
- Macha Méril: Anya
- Liam Neeson: Totter
- Siobhan Redmond: Totter's wife
- Paula Figgett: Totter's Daughter
Duet for One premiered at the Bush Theatre in 1980 with Frances de la Tour and David de Keyser in the leading roles. Kempinski and de la Tour were married at the time, and he wrote the role with her in mind. 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.
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