TWO of television’s most popular actors, William Gaunt and Haydn Gwynne, come to Lighthouse in Poole this month with an extraordinary production of Duet for One.

Tom Kempinski wrote the much-celebrated play, which examines in dramatic detail the impact that a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis has upon the life of an acclaimed concert violinist, more than two decades ago.

While advances have been made in the treatment of MS, a cure hasn’t materialised, and Stephanie Abraham’s battle to come to terms with the new reality of her life is as pertinent today as it was when Kempinski wrote this inspirational play. Director Robin Herford said: “Preparing for Duet for One during this Olympic summer has made me very aware of the sacrifices and dedication required of anyone competing at the highest level of any activity.

“But actually rehearsing the play while the Paralympic Games were in full swing has brought a fresh appreciation of what so many people have to deal with in the way of setbacks. To what extent can determination and positivity conquer everything?”

Haydn Gwynne, fresh from her multi-award-winning role in Billy Elliott the Musical and recently returned from New York, where she earned rave reviews playing Queen Elizabeth opposite Kevin Spacey’s Richard III, prepared for the challenging role of Stephanie Abrahams by talking with MS sufferers, health workers and classical violinists.

She said: “The play makes it clear that becoming a world-class performer isn’t simply about talent – it’s a difficult journey that requires immense emotional and physical investment. Stephanie’s will is fierce…fun to play, but scary too.”

William Gaunt immersed himself in the field of talking therapies.

Dr Feldmann’s task is to get to the truth behind Stephanie’s desolation so that she can finally broach an accommodation with her loss.

Duet for One is at Lighthouse in Poole from October 30 to November 3. Call 0844 406 8666 for full details and bookings.