07 August 2016

"Freud's Last Session"

We made the trek to Virginia Beach on Saturday where we had tickets to see a sold-out performance of "Freud's Last Session," a Tidewater Stage production. Tidewater Stage is a professional theater group that uses the facilities of Regent University for its productions. It also allows some Regent University faculty and students make a few bucks in the summer.

"Freud's Last Session" depicts a fictional visit by C.S. Lewis to the offices of Sigmund Freud in London on September 3, 1939, the day Great Britain declared war on Nazi Germany, and ten days before Freud committed suicide to end his suffering from oral cancer. The dialog was taken from each man's prolific writings and takes the form of an extended argument over the existence of God, the (un)reality of moral absolutes, the meaning(lessness) of human suffering, and the place parents played in each man's ultimate development.

Occasional radio reports about the declaration of war and Freud's painful struggles with cancer punctuate the dialog. Although there's is little action on-stage, both characters develop over the 85-minute session.

Actors John Forkner (C.S. Lewis) and Chris Hanna (Freud) did outstanding jobs. Hanna was especially powerful as an old and dying Freud come to life in his bemused contempt for Lewis's thoughtful Christianity and rage against any God who would have cursed him with a life of personal losses and now with great physical suffering.

The staging of the play was exceptional. Based on photographs of Freud's office in Vienna, the scenic and properties designers did an outstanding job of recreating Freud's surroundings. Not only us but may others have greatly appreciated this production of "Freud's Last Session." At least 250 were on the waiting list, which would have made it challenging to get tickets for the final performance even had I posted this in time.

In any event, a great job by all involved

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