Teddy and Topsy (London 2011)

Isadora Duncan’s love letters to Gordon Craig

by Robert Shaw

Old Red Lion Theatre, 5-26 March 2011

Anna-Marie Paraskeva as Isadora Duncan

Hugh Bonneville as the voice of Edward Gordon Craig


Directed by Robert Shaw

Design by Edward Gordon Craig, realised by Jessica Wiesner

Stage Manager – Jade Nagi

Associate Producer – Francesca Moody

Photos by Laurie Lewis of the Independent on Sunday


She was the greatest dancer in the world.  He revolutionised the theatre.  In dance and in her own words, Isadora Duncan tells how two great artists loved each other eternally but were destined never to be together.

Robert Shaw creates a play fused with dance that follows their passionate, tempestuous love affair, adapted from her letters and other writings.

Writer / director Robert Shaw’s grandfather Martin Shaw worked extensively with Craig and conducted orchestras for Isadora on two tours of Europe, in 1906 and 1907.

Inside Intelligence has obtained special permission to use a never-before-seen original stage design by Craig, made for Isadora in 1906 while she was carrying his child, Deirdre.




“…fascinating… compelling… vividly realised” – INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

“…an unexpected delight… a captivating performance… gives a new dimension to this famously doomed relationship.” – SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

“…brings an elusive but genuine legend to warm, muscular life” – TIMES

“…passionate, vulnerable, spirited, inspired” – TIME OUT

“…a totally engaged and committed performance that’s warm, real and bewitching” – TIME OUT

“Two great things about this show from director Robert Shaw’s company Inside Intelligence: the source material and its solo star” – TIME OUT

“TEDDY AND TOPSY based on the colourful love letters of dance pioneer Isadora Duncan, is a one-woman show that punches above its weight.” – INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

“Duncan was, and remains, a fascinating figure… her correspondence is compelling. ANNA-MARIE PARASKEVA, who also choreographed the dances… negotiates the feverish highs and truculent lows of the letters with fine dramatic pacing, and manages the switch from speech to perfumed dance with aplomb… TEDDY AND TOPSY is vividly realised, a reminder of a distant, pre-telephonic age.” – INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

“TEDDY AND TOPSY… was an unexpected delight, thanks to a captivating performance by Anna-Marie Paraskeva. The heartbreakingly one-sided correspondence… is energised by Paraskeva’s expressive delivery. Mercurial changes of tone give welcome glimpses of the steel – and the wit – underpinning the gush and give a new dimension to this famously doomed relationship.” – SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

“Two great things about this show from director Robert Shaw’s company Inside Intelligence: the source material and its solo star. The former is a cache of love letters written by iconic dancer Isadora Duncan. A fascinating and contradictory character, Duncan’s own words reveal her to be passionate, vulnerable, spirited, inspired and a bloody good letter writer – idiosyncratic of syntax and a natural dramatist. Portraying Duncan here means not only carrying off an intense hour-and-20-minute monologue, but also embodying the dancer, earthy but flighty, possessed by Terpsichore. ANNA-MARIE PARASKEVA does it brilliantly, in a totally engaged and committed performance that’s warm, real and bewitching.” – TIME OUT

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