West End run of The Doctor starring Juliet Stevenson postponed until 2021

Posted on 13 May 2020

Award-winning director Robert Icke's The Doctor, which was due to run at the Duke of York's Theatre in London from 18 April 2020 until 18 July 2020, has now been officially postponed to "sometime" in 2021. Hailing from the Almeida Theatre, this highly anticipated transfer was set to star critically acclaimed actress Juliet Stevenson in the eponymous role as a practitioner racing to find a cure for dementia at a private clinic.

The Duke of York's Theatre run of The Doctor moved to 2021

Due to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the mass closure of theatres, the Almeida Theatre production of The Doctor is now postponed until 2021, it has been confirmed. Juliet Stevenson, who was meant to headline the Duke of York's Theatre transfer production, is still expected to reprise her role as Professor Ruth Wolff as previously announced.

Further casting for Robert Icke's (1984, Hamlet, Mary Stuart, Oresteia, The Wild Duck) directorial triumph will be announced in the coming weeks.

⚠️ Ticketholders to The Doctor do not need to contact their point of sale, as they will be offered either full credit vouchers or refunds automatically.

Juliet Stevenson talks about her role in The Doctor and coronavirus

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 when Covid-19 brought it crashing to a halt – along with almost everything else.

Whilst accepting the inevitable, I was pretty gutted – and am missing the production, the wonderful company, the character, and above all the experience of taking the play out there nightly to new and hungry audiences.

So I am thrilled that we will be back next Spring, and that audiences emerging from their seclusion will have the chance to see it. Rob has written what I think is a great play, in every sense – and as a director, he has shaped a piece of theatrical magic.  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…. 

We will get through this strange and isolating chapter – and then theatre will play a key role in bringing people back together, to share our stories and to celebrate our capacity to roll with the punches and get back up.

When the lights come back on in London’s West End, and in theatres across the UK, I’m hoping that audiences will join us. What a joy it will be to be back on stage and riding The Doctor rollercoaster every night, in dialogue with audiences who’ll have so much to bring to it… as soon as it’s safe to do so.

The Doctor play plot

First things first, do no harm.

On a typical day at a private hospital, a young woman fights to stay alive. A priest comes to rescue her tormented soul. Her doctor refuses to let him in.

At a polarising time, a society chooses what side they're on in a divided nation. The Doctor is a whirlwind conversation around race, gender, and identity.

About The Doctor play at Duke of York's Theatre

The Doctor was freely adapted for the stage by Robert Icke from the play Professor Bernhardi (1912), which is one of the best-known works by Viennese playwright and novelist Arthur Schnitzler.

The show has been widely praised ever since it premiered at the Almeida Theatre in August 2019 and earned Robert Icke the 2019 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Director with Stevenson also nominated for Best Actress. Juliet Stevenson went on to win this year's Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress for her portrayal in the role.  

The Doctor London creative team features designer Hildegard Bechtler, casting director Julia Horan, lighting designer Natasha Chivers, and sound designer and composer Tom Gibbons.

The Doctor Duke of York's Theatre cast was originally planned to star Jamie ParkerChris Colquhoun, Shelley Conn, Anni Domingo, Liv Hill and Millicent Wong alongside Stevenson. It has yet to be confirmed whether they will be appearing in the postponed 2021 production.

The Doctor is presented by Ambassador Theatre Group and Almeida TheatreBenjamin LowyGlass Half Full Productions, with Fiery Angel and Charles Diamond, in association with Scott Rudin and Sonia Friedman Productions.

The play marks the third West End transfer for both Robert Icke and Juliet Stevenson following the box-office smash-hit productions of Mary Stuart and Hamlet.

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The Doctor Almeida Theatre review round-up

"[Olivier Award winner Juliet Stevenson] delivers
one of the peak performances of the theatrical year" 
(The Guardian)
"Devastating play for today" 
(Financial Times)
"Britain's best director" (Daily Telegraph)
(Sunday Times)
(The Times)
"Provocative, wonderfully upsetting" 
(The Observer)
(The Stage)
(Evening Standard)
Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.