After its premiere at north London’s Almeida Theatre in 2019, Robert Icke’s “The Doctor” earned glowing reviews and plaudits, most notably Olivier Award nominations for best new play and best actress. However, just as it was set to take on the West End, the production was shuttered by COVID closures.
Thankfully, in Tokyo, theaters have resumed business as usual after a grueling 18 months of multiple state of emergencies, and this latest work by Icke is running now through Nov. 28 at the Parco Theatre in Shibuya. Taking on the title role of Dr. Ruth Wolff, a Jewish physician, is actress Shinobu Otake, under the direction of seasoned veteran Tamiya Kuriyama.
“I had a chance to see the play at the Almeida, and although I couldn’t understand everything, I was able to grasp the characters’ relationships and the story,” Otake, 64, says. “I especially enjoyed the characters’ arguments, which had a brilliant rhythm and tempo. I was also greatly impressed by the main actress Juliet Stevenson. Her acting was truly realistic, and she was so energetic and cool.”