• Darlinghurst Theatre Company Presents
  • 31 Mar - 30 Apr 2017
  • $38 - $54

Hysteria

Terry Johnson

Terry Johnson’s brilliant comedy and farce takes its inspiration from history, when in 1938 the surrealist painter Salvador Dali paid a visit to the Sigmund Freud. Freud had recently escaped Nazi Europe and settled in London.

Hysteria imagines the fallout when two of the twentieth century’s most brilliant and original minds collide. 

Hysteria also imagines that Freud received another guest who rattles and disturbs the founder of psychoanalysis and holds him accountable to a terrible truth.

Darlinghurst Theatre Company produces and presents the Sydney Premiere of Hysteria.

Supported by The Stafford Morgan Family

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Or call: (02) 8356 9987

"Comic timing is sharp and just when all is threatened by silliness, Miranda Daughtry’s obsessive Jessica resumes to nail Freud for his past compromises... Very engaging to watch."  - Stage Whispers

"In tribute to the genius of both men, Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s Hysteria is complex, thought-provoking and beautifully produced." - The AU Review

"Hysteria combines history, imagination, Freud And Dali for a farcical fantasy with weighty undertones."BroadwayWorld Australia

Hysteria Program
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Photo Credit: Robert Catto

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Hysteria

Terry Johnson

Cast

Miranda Daughtry
Michael McStay
Wendy Strehlow
Jo Turner
 

Book Online

Or call: (02) 8356 9987

Creative Team

Director: Susanna Dowling
Production Designer: Anna Gardiner
Lighting Designer: Daniel Barber
Sound Designer: Katelyn Shaw
Stage Manager: Amy Morcom
Raine Paul: Video Engineer
Julian Tynan: Cinematographer
James Fraser: Camera Assistant
Vitor Queiroz: Colourist
Hair and Makeup Artist: Martelle Hunt

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Hysteria

Terry Johnson

Reviews

"Comic timing is sharp and just when all is threatened by silliness, Miranda Daughtry’s obsessive Jessica resumes to nail Freud for his past compromises... Very engaging to watch."  - Stage Whispers

"In tribute to the genius of both men, Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s Hysteria is complex, thought-provoking and beautifully produced." - The AU Review

"Johnson does something remarkable here combining low farce with intellectual muscle. The result is hilariously funny, genuinely thought-provoking and at key moments, deeply affecting".- The UK Telegraph

"Terry Johnson's farce about Dalí's meeting with Freud is not just clever and funny, it's unexpectedly moving..." The Guardian 

Book Online

Or call: (02) 8356 9987

News

DIRECTOR’S NOTES- Susanna Dowling

In his artistic poem Don Juan, Byron wrote, ‘…if I laugh at any mortal thing, ‘Tis that I may not weep.’ This could be a description of Terry Johnson’s mad, funny, complex play that imagines what Freud’s final moments might have been like. What were the demons that haunted him? How did he justify his own escape from Austria when his sisters were left behind? Were there other people hurt on his journey to becoming the ‘Father of Psychoanalysis’? Was his work a serious science, or just ‘badly argued piffle’?

In this play, we see Freud reckoning with judgments he made about humanity at two different times. In the 1890s, his work with hysterical patients led him to draw the conclusion that a huge number of middle class men were abusing their own children. In 1938, he saw the beginnings of the worst atrocity of the twentieth century, the Nazi’s systemised attack on the Jewish people. Both times, he came across horrific truths about what human beings can do to other human beings, and both times he came to the conclusion that they couldn’t possibly be true – that they were ‘fundamentally unthinkable’. He backed away from the uncomfortable truths he had discovered, both times refusing to engage with what he saw.

Johnson posits that in order to push past these unpleasant truths, Freud had to extinguish his emotions and become solely a thinking, rational being. But of course, that’s impossible. Guilt, fear, doubt, love – these things refuse to leave him, even in his last moments. It’s something we’re all grappling with at the moment – at a time when the fundamentally unthinkable has become all too real. The revelations from the Royal Commission on clerical child abuse – fundamentally unthinkable. The rise of populist nationalism and the angry xenophobia that it stirs – fundamentally unthinkable. But in spite of that, these things reveal themselves as truths, whether we are able to accept them or not. It begs the question – can we extinguish our feelings so
easily?

The beauty of Johnson’s play is that he’s able to make us think about such complex and troubling ideas by using the silliest of theatrical forms, the English farce. By making us laugh at the bleakest moment, he reminds us of our humanity. Our humanity, which will save us in the end.

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Hysteria

Terry Johnson

PERFORMANCE DATES

  • Previews: Fri 31 March, Sat 1 & Sun 2 April
  • Season: Wed 5 April - Sun 30 April

PERFORMANCE TIMES 

  • Tue - Sat: 7.30pm
  • Sun: 5pm
  • Sat Matinees: 22 & 29 April at 3pm

PERFORMANCE DETAILS

Running Time: 2.5 hours including interval

Contains: Adult themes, smoke effects and low level strobe.

Warning: Hysteria contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing.

Book Online

Or call: (02) 8356 9987

TICKETS 

  • Standard $54
  • Concession $44
  • Groups (8+) $44
  • Industry* $38
  • Under 30* $38
  • Preview $38

No Booking Fees

*Available Tue, Wed & Thu only

SUBSCRIPTIONS

  • Save up to 25% on the standard ticket price and receive some terrific benefits when you book your ticket as part of a subscription
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