Hysteria

Terry Johnson

Hysteria

In 1939, 82-year-old Sigmund Freud, who has fled from Nazi-occupied Austria, settles down in a quiet Hampstead suburb where he aims to spend his dying days in peace. But when surrealist painter Salvador Dali unexpectedly turns up in his study, along with a young woman who finds it impossible to keep her clothes on, all hell breaks loose. 3.8 out of 5 based on 8 reviews
Hysteria

Omniscore:

Location Bath
Venue Theatre Royal
Director Terry Johnson
Cast Will Keen, Indira Varma, David Horovitch Antony Sher
From July 2012
Until August 2012
Box Office 01225 448844
 

In 1939, 82-year-old Sigmund Freud, who has fled from Nazi-occupied Austria, settles down in a quiet Hampstead suburb where he aims to spend his dying days in peace. But when surrealist painter Salvador Dali unexpectedly turns up in his study, along with a young woman who finds it impossible to keep her clothes on, all hell breaks loose.

Reviews

The Daily Express

Neil Norman

Swaddled in tweed and delivering his lines with the fastidious diction of an ageing academic who doesn’t have time to repeat himself, Sher is quite wonderful as Freud, curmudgeonly and bewildered by the increasingly farcical events going on around him ... Keen’s Dali is a marvellous creation; twisting his body into a series of physical arabesques, he refers to himself in the third person throughout. It’s like watching Peter Sellers play Manuel in Fawlty Towers.

10/08/2012

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The Guardian

Michael Billington

Johnson sometimes stops the action to develop his argument. But, at its best, the play reminds us that farce, with its obsessional neurosis and release of subconscious fears, is an essentially Freudian entertainment. The piece also, in Johnson's production, is delightfully instructive while proving highly actable.

07/08/2012

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The Stage

Jeremy Brien

The slapstick quotient rises with the arrival of David Horovitch’s naive physician Dr Yahuda and Will Keen’s wildly eccentric Salvador Dali, who become rapidly enveloped in such iconic Whitehall farce devices as losing one’s trousers. However, Dr Yahuda is determined to keep under wraps his patient’s thesis that religion is the world’s worst neurosis and the threat that it poses for Jews faced with the Holocaust.

06/08/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Jane Shilling

Johnson directs his own play, and draws eloquent performances from all the principals, particularly Sher, whose beautiful concentrated gravitas as Freud never wavers, even when he finds himself at the centre of a bravura Surrealist coup de théâtre, surrounded by naked women and holding a lobster. But Johnson can’t quite efface the tension between the fleet-footed comedy and the curious longueurs of Jessica’s angry distress. Of the two, the former is by far the more thought-provoking.

06/08/2012

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The Times

Libby Purves

Salvador Dalí did visit Freud, and Johnson places that encounter between the Surrealist and the father of psychoanalysis in a context of war, feminism, false memory syndrome, myth and full-on, trouser-dropping, farce. The risky blend of broad comedy cliché, psycho-melodrama and intellectual history needs to be grounded by a solid portrait of Freud himself, and this handsome production finds just that in Antony Sher.

07/08/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Kate Bassett

Will Keen's moustachioed Salvador Dali also keeps twirling in and out: a devotee of Freud but with a ludicrously inflated ego. That, incidentally, makes Hysteria look more like a successor to Tom Stoppard's Dadaist biodrama Travesties.

12/08/2012

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The Sunday Times

David Jays

Freud invented the 20th century, its artistic revolution and pitiless cruelties alike, as a bombastic coup de théâtre here suggests. Johnson’s play both debunks and honours the man who advocated our liberation from patriarchy.

12/08/2012

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The Daily Mail

Quentin Letts

Well before the interval, I had brain ache. This is one of those shows where a moment’s lapse of attention leaves you flailing.

09/08/2012

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