Two “naked stage” shows are planned this spring by a Surrey-based theatre company.
First up for Naked Stage Productions Society is a two-man reading of Mark St. Germain’s script, “Freud’s Last Session,” to be performed three times at Newton Cultural Centre from April 29 to May 1.
The synopsis: Legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud invites the young, rising Oxford Don C.S. Lewis to his home in London for a wide-ranging conversation on the day England enters World War II.
During the COVID lockdown in 2020, the company presented a zoom recording of the play, and Colleen McGoff Dean returns to direct this live show in Newton.
“Once I read the script,” the director says, “I was excited to direct this show in our readers theatre format. St. Germain’s excellent script, and the engaging acting of George Stone as Freud and Kimball Finigan as Lewis, allow you an opportunity to ‘eavesdrop’ on this conversational fencing match between two of the greatest minds of the times as they explore one another’s views not only on the existence of God, but also their views on joy, pain, sex, suicide, and even British humour.”
Their discussion takes place in Freud’s home on Sept. 3, 1939, as war begins for England.
“During the conversation,” McGoff Dean explains, “they stay informed by periodically tuning in to the BBC, with the BBC announcer voiced by Godfrey Levy. This is a script that is sure to prompt discussion long after the show is over.”
“Freud’s Last Session” will represent a final show in Surrey for actor Stone before his move to Alberta with wife Sheelagh, to be closer to family.
Tickets can be purchased on nspsociety.com, where details of another Naked Stage show are posted.
In early June, “The Hallelujah Girls” will feature eight characters in a Georgia-set southern story written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten.
While the theatre company name might imply an erotic happening, it’s the stage that’s naked, not the performers, for all Naked Stage productions. “Our performances don’t have movement, extensive lighting, sound systems or props,” notes a post on the company website.
“The stage is bare except for actors sitting on stools and music stands holding their scripts. This method has been used for decades, mainly in universities and schools; it also has special appeal to seniors who liken it to old-time radio, where the audience had to listen carefully to fully understand the story.”