Two of the world’s greatest and most eccentric minds collide when Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dalí meet as Darlinghurst Theatre Company presents the Sydney premiere season of Terry Johnson’s acclaimed work, Hysteria at the Eternity Playhouse from 31 March 2017.
Johnson’s brilliant comedy takes its inspiration from history, when in 1938 the surrealist painter Salvador Dalí paid a visit to Sigmund Freud who had recently escaped Nazi Europe and settled in London.
Dalí was a fan of Freud, to the point of obsession and in his memoirs Dalí wrote: In the evening I held long and exhaustive imaginary conversations with Freud; he even came home with me once and stayed all night clinging to the curtains of my room in the Hotel Sacher (The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí:1942).
Little is known of their actual meeting, however Dalí sketched Freud whilst they met and he later wrote: Freud’s cranium is a snail! His brain is the form of a spiral – to be extracted with a needle! This discovery strongly influenced the portrait drawing which I later made from life, a year before his death (The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí: 1942).
Johnson’s Hysteria imagines the fallout when two of the twentieth century’s most brilliant and original minds collide. Hysteria also imagines that Freud received another surprise and unwanted guest who rattles and disturbs the founder of psychoanalysis and holds him accountable to a terrible truth.
Terry Johnson is a multi-award winning playwright and winner of two Olivier Awards for Best Comedy in 1994 and 1999, a Critics Circle award for Best New Play in 1995, a Time Out Best Play Award in 1995 and two Writers Guild Best Play awards in 1995 and 1996. He is a former Literary Associate at the Royal Court Theatre where he has had five of his own plays produced; Insignificance, Cries From The Mammal House, Hysteria, Hitchcock Blonde and Piano/Forte.
“One of the most brilliantly entertaining new plays I have seen in years: wild, weird and funny, serious, compassionate and shocking, blasphemous and reverential, intellectual and frivolous, a factual fantasy, a demented farce, a black nightmare.” – Sunday Times (UK)
Director: Susanna Dowling Featuring: Miranda Daughtry, Michael McStay, Wendy Strehlow, Jo Turner Production Designer: Anna Gardiner Lighting Designer: Daniel Barber Sound Designer: Katelyn Shaw Stage Manager: Amy Morcom Film Concept: Vitor Queiroz Cinematographers: Julian Tynan, James Fraser Hair and Makeup Artist: Martelle Hunt
Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst
Season: 5 – 30 April 2017 (previews: 31 March – 2 April)
Information and Bookings: www.darlinghursttheatre.com
Image: Jo Turner as Freud. Captured during the filming of featured stage projection – courtesy of Darlinghurst Theatre Company