Read our four-star review of The Doctor, Robert Icke's play starring Juliet Stevenson, playing off Broadway at the Park Avenue Armory through August 19.
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Catch Robert Icke's The Doctor in New York for a limited time only.
Icke's The Doctor play is loosely based on Professor Bernhardi, a play written by Arthur Schnitzler in 1912. That show centered on a Jewish doctor in Vienna who refused to let a Catholic priest administer last rites to a patient who did not know she was dying. The play explored then-contentious topics of anti-Semitism and the crossover of religion and medicine.
The Doctor adapts this story for the present day. Stevenson plays Ruth Wolff, also a Jewish doctor who refuses a priest's last rites on behalf of a patient dying of a self-inflicted abortion. Her polarizing decision makes news beyond the hospital, sparking nationwide public debate and throwing Wolff's career, livelihood, and beliefs in jeopardy.
The play premiered in London in 2022 to rave reviews. A five-star London Theatre review reads, "Juliet Stevenson gives a masterful performance as Professor Ruth Wolff, timing every disdainful look and eyebrow raise to perfection. She starts out as a callous doctor with a penchant for correct grammar and a booming voice to a fragile, vulnerable woman who loses everything that forms her identity."
Stevenson is a celebrated British stage and screen actress, having starred on screen in projects like Bend It Like Beckham, A Doll's House, The Politician's Wife, and Accused; she earned BAFTA Award nominations for Best Actress for the latter three. On stage, she won the Olivier Award for starring in Death and the Maiden. The Doctor off Broadway marks her first New York stage performance in 20 years.
Icke returns to the Park Avenue Armory a year after directing his adaptations of Shakespeare's Hamlet and Aeschylus's Oresteia there. Both those productions also received critical acclaim for putting an urgent, contemporary spin on classic stories. Icke has also mounted an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Enemy of the People at the Armory.
Cast and creative
By: Robert Icke, adapted from Professor Bernhardi by Arthur Schnitzler
Director: Robert Icke
Cast list: Christopher Osikanlu Colquhoun, Mariah Louca, Daniel Rabin, Naomi Wirthner, Hanna Ledwidge (as drummer)
Design: Hildegard Bechtler
Costumes: Hildegard Bechtler Lighting: Natasha Chivers
Sound: Tom Gibbons
Other info: Original music by Tom Gibbons
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The venue used to be an actual armory, and it now plays host to all kinds of visual art shows and theatre.