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An interesting stage play of Strauss and Zweig in Collaboration at the Duchess Theatre

It has been a few years since I last read Tim Ashley's biography of Richard Strauss.
The period after the fall of the Weimar Republic leading to the end of
World War II was difficult for Strauss - both creatively and
personally. After all, he had written his popular and successful operas by this stage and Hoffmansthal was dead. Therefore, it was fascinating to see Collaboration by Ronald Harwood at the Duchess Theatre where the relationship of Strauss and Stefan Zweig was portrayed.

Michael Pennington and David Horovitch played Strauss and Zweig respectively. The slightly overbearing Pauline Strauss was played by Isla Blair. The play had a very domestic setting - in sitting rooms, hotel rooms, etc. There were pensive moments as well as emotional outbursts.  The drama vividly portrayed how two creative men worked under the most difficult circumstances - their main output, Die schweigsame Frau, only had a tiny bit of airing. Many of the dialogues were necessarily conjectural, nonetheless it was a delight to see this period of Strauss enacted on stage.


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