In the late 1950s, French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre wrote The Freud Scenario, at the request of Hollywood director John Huston. Sartre is completely immersed in the subject, that he writes a script for a seven hour movie. Huston reduces the many hundreds of pages to a two-hour film. Because of this, the two get into an argument. Sartre then has his name removed from the credits. Since then this challenging script has remained untouched.
Duration: 2h15, without intermission
English surtitles on Thursdays
Premiere 22 September 2019
About the play
Freud has, perhaps more than anyone else in the twentieth century, determined how we think about what it means to be human. He has had a profound influence on literature, film, and theatre. But how did Freud come up with his theories? Sartre portrays the young psychiatrist as a tormented personality who discovered psychoanalysis almost against his will.
Ivo van Hove: "The piece is about innovation. We follow Freud at a young age, where he develops rapidly against the views of his influential teachers. With trial and error he discovers dream analysis. Freud was able to think out of the box, to be creative and innovative. He was unique in that he did it not only by observing his patients, but also by confronting himself. Freud's research into mankind was born out of a highly personal need. He throws himself on the scales with everything he has – not only his beliefs but also his doubts, not only his mind but also his heart."
Ivo van Hove is the first to stage Sartre's extensive script in its entirety, which means that Freud is a world premier. In this co-production with the Toneelhuis (Antwerp), members of the Antwerp theatre collective FC Bergman will also take the stage in addition to the ITA ensemble actors.
"With the production Freud, about the most famous psychiatrist in the world, ITA and Toneelhuis prove that the Dutch theater landscape shines." – De Telegraaf ★★★★★
"Van Hove has asked the young, anarchist group FC Bergman (now part of the Toneelhuis in Antwerp) to make an adaptation of the text, which they did very successfully. [...] I was not prepared for the fact that I would find the piece so moving, yes, touching. That it would have so much to say about the ambivalent relationships between parents and children." –Theatermaker
"After an hour, Cäcilie (Hélène Devos) makes her appearance. Immediately Devos draws all the attention with her intense, lived-through play and perfect timing, shifting between brightness and hysteria." –De Standaard★★★
"A fine direction of old ideas. [...] The 'Freud' that Ivo van Hove puts on stage is nevertheless a pleasure to watch."
– Noordhollands Dagblad★★★
"The energetically edited scenes [...] give the performance a refreshing pace. [...] Hélène Devos as Cäcilie Körtner and Chris Nietvelt as her mother are impressive in the scene in which Freud brings out the painful reasons for their mutual hatred." – Groene Amsterdammer
Ivo van Hove has been director of Internationaal Theater Amsterdam since 2001.
In season 19|20, he will be directing Freud (coproduction FC Bergman) and Who killed my father (Edouard Louis) and his productions A little life, Death in Venice, After the rehearsal / Persona, La voix humaine, Kings of war and Roman Tragedies will be reprised.
after Le Scénario Freud
from Jean-Paul Sartre © Éditions Gallimard
directed by Ivo van Hove
translation Gerardjan Rijnders
adaptation FC Bergman & Koen Tachelet
dramaturgy Koen Tachelet
scenography & light design Jan Versweyveld
sound design George Dhauw
costumes An D’Huys
private producent Helga Lasschuijt en Dirk Raes, Harry van den Bergh, Anna Wouters en Esther Kwaks
supported by Ammodo
assistant director Olivier Diepenhorst, Zorba Huisman (internship)
assistant scenography Bart van Merode
assistant dramaturgy Ilske Lutter
assistant costumes Eleftheria Lavdaki
head of technical ensemble Götz Schwörer
production manager Michiel van Schijndel
technical staff Joost Verlinden (stage manager), Pepijn van Beek, Timo Merkies, Peter Pieksma, Stephan Pot, Pieter Roodbeen, Dennis van Scheppingen, Eva Sol, Jordi Wolswijk, Paul van der Zouwe, Luc Huisman (internship)
costumes department Wim van Vliet (head of dept.), Farida Bouhbouh
hair & grime David Verswijveren
execution scenography Decoratelier Nationale Opera en Ballet, Levtec
casting advice Hans Kemna
fotography Jan Versweyveld, Henri Verhoef
image editing Henri Verhoef, Dim Balsem
graphic designs Serena Kloet, Studio ITA
publicity Ewa Chojecka
with thanks to Nesoptiek, Labels Inc. Antwerpen