Freud’s Last Session
Freud’s Last Session – Theatre Review
FREUD’S LAST SESSION centers on legendary psychiatrist Dr. Sigmund Freud, who invites a young, rising academic star, C.S. Lewis, to his home in London. Lewis, expecting to be called on the carpet for satirizing Freud in a recent book, soon realizes Freud has a much more significant agenda. On the day England enters World War II, Freud and Lewis clash on the existence of God, love, sex and the meaning of life – only two weeks before Freud chooses to take his own.
Pick of the Week!
Freud’s Last Session takes place in Freud’s office in London in September, 1939. I assume it was an imaginary conversation between C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud about God and religion. Currently it’s being shown a the West Side Y on W. 64th St., which is actually a wonderful venue I’ve never been in before with a fabulous set. I think both the actors are good. Martin Rayner who plays Sigmund Freud is really terrific. He looks like Freud, and I mean as a psychologist, your heart just sings. The beginning of the play is terrific. It’s only about 75 or 80 minutes, so the first like 30 minutes or 25 minutes are fabulous. The last 10 or 15 are wonderful. The middle, to be quite honest, is a little flaccid. I think part of the problem is that the C.S. Lewis character played by Mark H. Dold is really never fleshed out. We know he had a war experience, we know he had a conversion from atheist to God-believing, but we don’t know why. Meanwhile we learn about Freud’s relationship with his daughter and wife, and of the two we probably know about a little more about Freud anyway. But we don’t really know very much about C.S. Lewis, which makes him sort of a cipher. So he doesn’t really hold up his end of the bargain very well as a worthy adversary to Freud. On the other hand, it is a really wonderful theatrical experience. It sold out a lot, so I would encourage you to get your little butt over there and get some tickets, because Freud’s Last Session is really worth seeing, whether your a psychologist or not. Four stars.