Observations: Freud family sofa's takes a starring role in Theatre of Therapy
Friday 25 September 2009
Seventy years ago this week, Sigmund Freud committed "assisted suicide" at his Hampstead home and, later this autumn, the couch from his house will play a central role in a show at Chelsea Theatre.
Theatre of Therapy is the latest entertainment "event" from the acclaimed performer David Hoyle, best known to those outside the gay scene for his cameos in Nathan Barley and Velvet Goldmine. Directed by long-time collaborator, Nathan Evans, the show sees Hoyle exploring notions of ego, super-ego and id through savage self-reflection and recorded therapy sessions conducted with audience members on the Freud family sofa.
It sounds like the perfect vehicle for a man who views all artistic expression as "therapeutic and cathartic". How Chelsea came by the couch, however, is more convoluted. Friend of the theatre Helen Spackman, a performance artist and lecturer at London Metropolitan University, was given it by a student connected to the family of John Willett, a pre-eminent Brecht scholar, who, in turn, acquired the sofa directly from the Freud Museum.
"Owning something that Freud's bottom actually sat on, well, I couldn't resist," says Spackman, who is storing the rather battered couch in the hallway of her flat. "Here is this broken-down object that once belonged to this very great man. And if we follow that metaphor into the breakdown of the human condition, I think that's why David is so excited about using it."
Hoyle concurs: "The couch will be electrically charged with the vibration of Freud's voice. I plan to have a relationship with it." And what could be more appropriate? Hoyle has assumed numerous personas in his career, none more memorable than The Divine David, whom he dramatically killed off at Streatham Ice Arena in 2000. Freud would have a field day with this patient, surely. "I'm happy to say I'm multifaceted," admits Hoyle. "Some of my facets are blinding bright and others are coal-black. It all depends on where the light is."
'Theatre of Therapy' is at Chelsea Theatre as part of its Sacred season (21 October to 22 November) www.chelseatheatre.org
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Wolf Hall finale, review: Simply brilliant TV
Blade Runner sequel: Harrison Ford confirmed to return with Denis Villeneuve directing
All fiction follows one of six basic storylines, according to new research
House of Cards season 3 premiere, review: Has Frank Underwood gone soft?
Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit