Freud's Last Session ★★★★ King's Head Theatre | Jan 18 - Feb 12, 2022


Britain is on the edge of war with Germany and Sigmund Freud, who is afflicted with cancer, is on the verge of death. In this dark atmosphere, the father of psychoanalysis and the author, C.S. Lewis, undertake a wide-ranging dialogue dealing with the existence of God, the purpose of suffering, and the importance of sex. It is a rambling conversation that seeks to challenge Lewis' Christian beliefs and to question Freud's resolute atheism. Thought-provoking as it may be, most of the arguments are left incomplete and inconclusive. Neither man is really swayed by the other, but there are some revealingly, ironic moments. We see how Freud's psychoanalytic framework can be uncomfortably applied to both men, and how Freud, despite his professed preparedness for death, clings to life. Julian Bird does a masterful job of capturing the aged, insightful and egocentric Freud and Séan Browne gets it just right as the youthful and rather glib Lewis. Indeed, the strength of the production is in the acting and excellent character development. The arguments are truncated and, not surprisingly, remain unresolved. The human condition can be viewed through a lens of reason or one of faith, but certitude will probably remain outside our grasp.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Alex Brenner.

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