Double Olivier Award-winning actor Antony Sher will take on the role of Sigmund Freud in Terry Johnson’s self-directed play Hysteria as part of the Hampstead theatre’s forthcoming autumn season.
The newly announced season will also see Tamzin Outhwaite return to the venue to star in the world premiere of Simon Paisley Day’s writing debut Raving.
Johnson’s 1993 farce Hysteria will open the season from 5 September (press night 12 September) to 12 October. Raising intriguing questions about Freud’s radical revision of his theories of hysteria, the play centres on the founder of psychoanalysis at the age of 82 after fleeing Nazi-occupied Austria and settling in Swiss Cottage, where he hopes to spend his final days in peace. But when Salvador Dali turns up and discovers a less than fully dressed woman in the closet, his hope of peace seems increasingly less unlikely.
South African-born actor Sher has enjoyed a hugely successful stage career spanning five decades, most recently appearing in The Captain Of Köpenick and Travelling Light at the National Theatre, and Broken Glass in the West End.
Returning to the Swiss Cottage venue following his sell-out production of Old Money in 2012, Johnson’s directing credits include West End productions of Entertaining Mr Sloane, The Graduate and La Cage Aux Folles.
Raving will complete the autumn season from 17 October (press night 24 October) to 23 November. Directed by the venue’s Artistic Director Edward Hall, Paisley Day’s debut play, which is described as an “uproarious study of modern parenting and matrimonial tribulations,” tells the story of Briony and Keith, a couple struggling in their roles as parents. But when their friends Ross and Rosy take them on a relaxing weekend away with another couple, an uninvited anarchic adolescent and a fanatical farmer, the idyllic break erupts into total chaos.
Best known for her long-running role in BBC soap EastEnders, Outhwaite was last seen at the Hampstead theatre in Di And Viv And Rose, which transferred from the venue’s downstairs space to the main stage. The actress’ other London stage credits include West End productions of Boeing Boeing and Sweet Charity.
Actor Paisley Day, who has turned his talents to writing for the venue’s new season, has most recently appeared on the London stage in The Low Road at the Royal Court and The Taming Of The Shrew at Shakespeare’s Globe.
The autumn season will begin following Twelfth Night and The Taming Of The Shrew, two productions by Hall’s all-male Shakespeare theatre company Propeller, which will come to an end on 20 July.