Sunday, 13 October 2013

'Hysteria' Hampstead Theatre ***

The current production at the Hampstead Theatre at this moment is 'Hysteria' and I must commend that this show is full of history, wonder and mystery. The play is about the ways in which the founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud deals with his patients and friends at his world famous Hampstead home, which is now a museum dedicated to his memory. I found the script written by Terry Johnson to be of a good standard but sometimes the dialogue seemed quite too long winded for ones liking especially in the comedic moments. Apart from this I do feel that the writing does appeal to a wide range of audiences especially eighteen year olds plus. The performances were incredibly well delivered which seems to me that for an Off West End theatre that it can produce productions that highly regarded theatre performers want to brace the threshold and take on these challenges.  The plays central protagonist Sigmund Freud played by the ever faithful Antony Sher was conveyed brilliantly as he has captured the flavour of this influential practitioner in both the emotional moments through to the more obtuse ones e.g the dream sequence in the second act. Adrian Schiller as futurist artist Salvador Dali steals the limelight here as his comedy moments electrified the audience as there were laughs from all corners of the auditorium. His voice work was of a satisfactory nature as it feels far too forced somewhat. The shows director who in fact is the writer of the piece has created a good show that delves into both psychology and artistic themes and the juxtaposition between the two works really well for me. Johnson can both write and direct a production without trouble even for the same show. Lez Brotherston's design was spectacular as he has created Freuds home of 20 Marsefield Gardens onto a small stage without any problems an it's ironic that the theatre is only five minutes away from that location if the performance. On the whole a good production that you should see before it closes.

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