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The Doctor - Tickets

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2 hrs 50 mins

Witness a gripping drama that crackles with the energy of the fierce debate between medical ethics and personal beliefs. Catch a breathtaking production by Robert Icke, as he brings a classic back to life in a contemporary setting.

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These tickets can't be cancelled or rescheduled.

why watch the doctor

Adapted from the controversial 1912 play Professor Bernhardi written by Arthur Schnitzler, The Doctor explores themes of medical ethics and religion. In the 1912 play, the doctor is male and a priest is a white man. The current production, however, features a female lead and a black priest, thereby including a tangle of identity and gender politics into the mix.

The director, Robert Icke, who is the Assistant Director of the Harold Pinter Theatre has done a stellar job in weaving together all the elements to make for a riveting 170-minute performance. He wonderfully captures the collision between science and religion and portrays the arguments from both sides without bias.

The lead role is played by accomplished actress, Julie Stevenson. Boasting multiple BAFTA and Olivier Award nominations to her name, she puts up a spectacular performance as Dr Ruth Wolff. She portrays the decline of her character from the authoritative and powerful figure to a hunted tragic figure towards the end of the performance with astonishing conviction.

The run at the Almeida Theatre won critical acclaim and Icke was praised for breathing new life into the old play, while still ensuring that it held true to its original intention. Nothing is black or white, but just varying shades of grey, as Icke refuses to give any character the upper hand in the ongoing controversy. The sheer tautness of the direction makes you want to strain forward in your chair, as you wait with bated breath for the next revelation.

The Story

Ruth Wolff is a doctor who heads a private clinic whose objective is to find a cure for dementia. One of the top practitioners in her field, Dr Wolff is at the top of her game and has unwavering ethics and an uptight belief in her integrity.

One day, a patient is struggling to hold on to life. A priest arrives, intent on giving the patient her last rites before her death to absolve all her sins. Dr Wolff, however, will have none of that and wants her patient to have a silent and peaceful passing, unaware of the end. She denies the priest entry into the room, convinced that she mustn't first do any harm to the patient.

The media soon gets wind of the incident, and medical ethics and religion are brought to the forefront of the debate. Accusations are being thrown left and right, and the only clear thing is that the situation has turned political. Will Dr Wolff weather the storm coming her way or will she begin to question her stance on this precarious situation? Is the upstanding Dr Wolff bereft of any flaws in her unwavering beliefs?

Good for

Fans of Thrillers | Lovers of Dramas

know before you go

Show Details

Genre: Play

Duration: 2hr 50mins (inc. interval)

Audience: Recommended for ages 14+

No. of Shows a Week: ~8

Opening Date: 29 Sep 2022

Closing Date: 11 Dec 2022

Theatre Name: Duke of Yorks Theatre

Theatre Facilities: Restroom, Bars

Dress Code: Smart casual

Cast and Creatives

Juliet Stevenson as Dr Ruth Wolff

Writer and Director

Robert Icke

Further casting for the 2022 production of The Doctor is yet to be announced.

Additional Tips

  • Content Warning: The Doctor includes discussion of suicide and the description of suicide methods. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this production, you can get free support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from the Samaritans. Visit samaritans.org or call 116 123 for free. This production also features the use of bright flashing lights and strobes.

  • Keep in mind, the theater is air-conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly. Bring along a light jacket if needed.

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