Hysteria

The year is 1938, the rain lashes at the window and inside sits Sigmund Freud (wonderfully portrayed by Sir Antony Sher) in his study, a faithful replica of that just up the road in Maresfield Gardens. The silence is palpable and even before he utters his famous first line, you know you are in the hands of a master. It’s not long before the silence is broken and various visitors are vying for his attention and a spot on the famous long couch. Firstly there is Jessica (Lydia Wilson), a young student whose interest in Freud’s work and a single case study in particular has evident ulterior motives. Next Dr Yahuda (David Horovitch), a long term companion of Freud who is treating him through the latter stages of cancer. And lastly, there is Salvador Dali (Adrian Schiller), about whom there is little to say that cannot be said by the eccentric artist himself. All four actors give masterful performances of substance and soul, without which the play would descend into unadulterated chaos. The plot is well constructed with hints scattered at every turn so that when revelations come to light they are not beyond belief; it is well mapped but never predictable.

This article was first published on The Arbuturian. For the full article please see here.

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