The Doctoris based on a 1912 play but feels so incredibly current and urgent, it keeps you gripped from start to finish.
Written and directed by Robert Icke for London’s Almeida Theatre, where it premiered last year, The Doctorwas “very freely adapted” from Arthur Schnitzler’s Professor Bernhardi. Schnitzler, who was a Jewish-Austro-Hungarian dramatist, wrote his ground-breaking play – set in Vienna in 1910 – as a way to examine the antisemitism that was spreading through Austrian society at the time. A censored version opened in Berlin in 1912, with the Viennese premiered taking place at the end of 1918. The play was then banned by the Nazis during the 1930s and 40s.
The Almeida production currently has an exclusive Australian season at the Adelaide Festival, before it returns to the UK for a West End transfer in April.
In Schnitzler’s drama, Jewish doctor Professor Oskar Bernhardi, who is the director of a private teaching clinic, refuses to allow a priest to give the last rites to a Christian woman who is dying as the result of a back-street abortion. She has sepsis,...