Terry Johnson’s Award-Winning "Hysteria"
From Nora Theatre
January 6 - 30

Two of the world’s greatest and most eccentric minds, Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dali, collide in Terry Johnson’s Olivier Award-winning comedy, "Hysteria, or Fragments of an Analysis of an Obsessional Neurosis."

Produced by The Nora Theatre Company and directed by the company's Associate Director Daniel Gidron, "Hysteria" will have its Boston-area premiere January 6 - 30 at Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.

Inspired by an actual meeting between Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dali, "Hysteria" is a demonic farce of misunderstandings about passions and self-control. Dali arrives at Freud's house for tea, his ulterior motive being painting the patron saint of Surrealism. But if Freud, whose artistic preferences are more classical, is convinced all Surrealists are fools, why would he agree to meet with a lunatic? And further, why is there a naked woman in Freud’s closet?

Terry Johnson was first inspired to write "Hysteria" after reading Jeffrey Masson's book, The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory. He then visited the Freud Museum in London, which was the home of Freud and his family after they escaped Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938.

According to Johnson, "Freud's son meticulously re-created Freud's Vienna study... and it is a strange and powerful room to walk into. I walked into the study, and instantly knew where the play would be set; and what its parameters were."

"Hysteria" premiered at London’s Royal Court Theatre in 1992, winning the 1994 Olivier Award for Best Comedy. In the United States it has been produced by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1999 (directed by John Malkovich), and was recently staged at the Wilma Theatre with Alvin Epstein as Sigmund Freud. The New York Times commented that "Hysteria" “keeps with the adventurous new comic tradition pioneered by Tom Stoppard with, among other plays, 'Travesties.'

As a playwright, Terry Johnson’s work has been performed all over the world. He is the recipient of ten major British Theatre Awards including Olivier Awards for Best Musical Revival in 2009, Best Comedy (twice, 1994 and 1999), and Playwright of the Year 1995. Productions he has directed include: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest," "Entertaining Mr. Sloane," and "The Graduate" in London's West End. His 2008 London revival of "La Cage Aux Folles"starring Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge, transferred to Broadway in 2010.

The Nora’s Associate Director, Daniel Gidron brings together two of Boston’s favorite comic actors in the lead roles with Richard Snee as Sigmund Freud and John Kuntz as Salvador Dali. Stacey Fischer and Robert Bonotto complete the cast.

For tickets, call 866-811-4111 or visit www.centralsquaretheater.org.

Note: this production contains nudity.

-- OnStage Boston



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