BWW Review: FREUD THE MUSICAL, The Vaults
The father of modern psychology comes back from the grave in a flurry of cross-dressing madness. Natasha Sutton Williams writes an exhilarating musical filled to the brim of phallic jokes and the basis of psychotherapy. Sigmund Freud's cocaine addiction and an imaginary cat named Oedipussy move the action across the real-life cases of the misunderstood lesbian Dora, little Hans, and Rat Man.
Sutton Williams switches back and forth from the various characters displaying excellence in physical comedy: she stoops and assumes accents and flares that help to identify the different roles without doubt. From the sarcastic and blasé cat to Freud himself, a brusque and money-hungry fraud who gets his ideas from his pet.
A collection of silly and wittily crafted songs add value to the already laugh-out-loud funny piece. Accompanied by a keyboard and looped voices recorded in situ by the performer, she sings about Asian torture methods and drugs.
"I am above the human condition" Freud says disdainfully as the actress sets out to single-handedly dismantle the patriarchal projection of the doctor. The writer manages to turn an iconic and respected figure into a laughingstock in a subtle and cheeky way, never smacking him directly but deciding to show his ridiculousness from a slanted angle.
Freud The Musical is not only unconventional and inventive, but even borderline instructive. Sutton Williams creates an authentic and unexpected comedy, bringing to the table real facts and turning them into hilarious anecdotes with no fear to be inappropriate.