Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

January 29, 2014

Freud’s Last Session

TheaterWorks, Hartford, CT
through February 23, 2014
by Jennifer Curran

A believer and a non-believer walk onto a stage and find themselves in the great debate of our time. Here we have brilliant and revolutionary psycho-analyst Sigmund Freud, played stunningly by Kenneth Tigar, at the end of his life and the great writer C.S. Lewis, portrayed by the always terrific Jonathan Crombie, before his "Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe" has found its way onto the page. Freud, famed atheist, and Lewis, former non-believer turned Christian come together against the backdrop of Hitler and the sounds of war raid sirens and radio announcements on the very night England will enter World War II. Hitler has invaded Poland and the world will never be the same.

The audience listens in to the lightning bolt intellects as they spar on themes of life, war, sex, free will, and the existence (or non-existence) of God. Incredibly funny, sometimes brash, occasionally shocking, but always smart these two men, so different in every way, find their way around the corners of big questions and from opposite sides find a delicate, wonderful middle ground. 

There is a reason this production is selling out every night. With Maxwell Williams directing, there isn’t a moment to take a breath. Every word and moment matters and each will replay themselves in the minds of the audience days later.

The set design by Evan Adamson, costumes by Thomas Legally and lighting design by Philip Rosenberg create the world of 1940’s England as blazingly crisp. Freud’s office feels as though it was cut out of time and placed here in 2014 specifically for the audience's benefit. This is not a show to miss; it is quite simply a rare artistic achievement that has no room for improvement.