The Great Debate – Freud versus Lewis in a battle of egos and ideas

 William Zappa as Sigmund Freud and Andrew Henry as C.S. Lewis in Freud’s Last Session. Photo Supplied.

William Zappa as Sigmund Freud and Andrew Henry as C.S. Lewis in Freud’s Last Session. Photo Supplied.

What happened when C.S. Lewis met Sigmund Freud?

Playwright Mark St. Germain answers this provoking question in his award winning play, Freud’s Last Session which opens at QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre on November 26 November.

Set in 1939, on the day England enters World War II, Dr Freud, the controversial but undeniable founding father of psychoanalysis is nearing the end of his brilliant career, plagued by a slow inoperable cancer. Meanwhile, the young Prof Lewis has yet to write his most famous work The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Sparked with inspiration from Dr Armand S. Nicholi Jr’s book, The Question of God, in which a young professor who met with Freud after immigrating to England was speculated as possibly being Lewis, playwright Mark St. Germain penned Freud’s Last Session. The play was highly successful and ran Off-Broadway for a record two years and won the Best New Off-Broadway Play in 2011.

Director Adam Cook says the most interesting thing about this play is, “the rigorous intellectual debate between two heavy weights, both with firm conviction that they are right.”

In a duel of wits, no subject is spared as Freud and Lewis discuss God, love, sex and the meaning of life. Cook was drawn to the material as it explores “interesting and profound ideas done in an entertaining way.” He adds that the play has a “subtle wit”, and is “funnier than I thought it would be.”

Cook remarks that the more intimate Cremorne Theatre at QPAC is well suited to this chamber play starring William Zappa as Sigmund Freud and Andrew Henry as C.S. Lewis.

Following the success of last year’s tour, Cook comments its merit is based on a “well-written play that deals with really rich ideas and well-drawn characters [which] does not underestimate the audience’s intelligence.”

The director adds, “It’s a battle of egos as much as a battle of ideas.”

Presented by Strange Duck Productions, Freud’s Last Session will show at QPAC from November 26 till December 7. For more details, visit the QPAC website: Freud’s Last Session at QPAC.

Bobbi-Lea Dionysius

Bobbi-Lea is's QLD Co-ordinator, writer, reviewer, and reporter. She is also an actor, presenter, and theatre/film producer for Drama Queen Productions in Brisbane. Bobbi-Lea holds a Degree in Music Theatre as well as a Degree in Film & TV, and is currently doing her Masters in Screen Production.

Bobbi-Lea Dionysius

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