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Johnson, Sher and Outhwaite return to Hampstead Theatre

Antony Sher as Sigmund Freud in Terry Johnson's Hysteria. Photo credit: Nobby Clark.

Theatre preview

HAMPSTEAD Theatre has announced its Main House programme for Autumn 2013 and it includes Hysteria, a farce written and directed by Terry Johnson and starring Antony Sher; and the world premiere of Simon Paisley Day’s Raving, with Edward Hall directing a cast led by Tamzin Outhwaite.

Speaking about the new season, Edward Hall, Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Terry Johnson back to Hampstead this autumn. His longstanding relationship with Hampstead has continued over the last twelve months with his productions of Old Money and Race, and now he will direct his brilliant Hysteria, starring Antony Sher.

“With new plays at the heart of our programme, we continue our mission to seek out the newest talent and are really excited about Simon Paisley Day’s debut play, Raving. This intelligent comedy sees the return of Tamzin Outhwaite to our stage and I am very much looking forward to directing it.”

Hysteria opens the autumn season, running from Thursday, September 5 to Saturday, October 12.

Anthony Sher returns to Hampstead Theatre to play Freud in Terry Johnson’s hilarious and insightful farce that raises intriguing questions about Freud’s radical revision of his theories of hysteria.

In 1938, Sigmund Freud fled Nazi-occupied Austria and settled in leafy Swiss Cottage. At eighty-two years old, he aims to sped his final days in peace. Then Salvador Dali turns up and discovers a less than fully dressed woman in the closet, and peace becomes somewhat elusive.

A remounting of the critically acclaimed Theatre Royal Bath production of last year, Hysteria imagines the fall-out when two of the twentieth century’s most brilliant and original minds collide.

Double Olivier Award-winner Antony Sher has enjoyed a long and illustrious career not only on stage and screen but also as a writer. He was most recently seen on the London stage in The Captain of Kopenick and Travelling Light (National Theatre) and The Tempest (RSC).

Terry Johnson recently directed the sell-out hits Old Money starring Maureen Lipman and David Mamet’s Race at Hampstead. His many award-winning productions include Entertaining Mr Sloane, The Graduate and La Cage aux Folles in the West End.

Hysteria is designed by Lez Brotherston, with lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by Gareth Owen. Full casting will be announced shortly.

Hysteria is followed – from Thursday, October 17 to Saturday, November 23 – by Raving.

Briony and Keith are not finding parenthood easy so their friends, the delightful Ross and Rosy, engineer a relaxing weekend away in Wales: intelligent adult company, good food and drink, complete rest – and absolutely no children.

But they make up the numbers by inviting the unpredictable Charles and Serena. Add an uninvited anarchic adolescent and fanatical farmer and Briony and Keith’s idyllic weekend erupts into total chaos …

Simon Paisley Day’s writing debut is described as an uproarious study of modern parenting and matrimonial tribulations.

Edward Hall’s directing credits include the sell-out hit Chariots of Fire (Hampstead Theatre and West End) and, also at Hampstead, No Naughty Bits, Loyalty and Enlightenment. As Artistic Director of Propeller, his work includes Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, A Winter’s Tale and Henry V.

Tamzin Outhwaite (EastEnders and Red Cap) returns to Hampstead following the critically acclaimed Di and Viv and Rose earlier this year. Her other theatre credits include Sweet Charity and Boeing Boeing, both in the West End.

Raving is designed by Jonathan Fensom. Composer is Simon Slater. Full casting will be announced shortly.

Tickets: Full price £32/£29; Mondays/Previews/Matinees £25/£22; Seniors and other concessions available from £15. To book call the box office on 020 7722 9301 or visit

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday matinees at 3pm, Wednesday matinees at 2.30pm.