Mrs Klein is set in London in 1934. Melanie Klein is one of the most admired, yet controversial, psychoanalysts of her time, renowned for her unique insight into the secret world of childhood. But her relationship with her psychoanalyst daughter Melitta has been damaged almost beyond repair, and an unexpected message from abroad brings it to bitter confrontation. The news also poses a mystery that even Mrs Klein, despite her genius for analysis, cannot solve. It is left to her new assistant, a refugee from Hitler’s Berlin, to find a possible answer.
Mrs Klein premiered at the National Theatre in 1998 directed by Peter Gill and starring Gillian Barge, Francesca Annis and Zoe Wanamaker, and the production subsequently transferred to the West End. This is the first major revival of Nicholas Wright’s play.
The playwright’s other work includes Cressida, The Reporter and Vincent In Brixton, while he has also written versions of Wedekind’s Lulu, Pirandello’s Naked and Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman. His stage adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy premiered at the National Theatre in 2003 to great acclaim.
Mrs Klein is directed by Thea Sharrock, one of the West End’s leading young directors whose previous work includes A Voyage Round My Father and Heroes at the Wyndham’s theatre, Emperor Jones and Happy Now? at the National and Equus, starring Daniel Radcliffe at the Gielgud. She directs As You Like It at Shakespeare’s Globe in summer 2009.
For more about Mrs Klein at the Almeida theatre, read the Big Interview with Nicola Walker.