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Hysteria: Or Fragments of an Analysis of an Obsessional Neurosis is a play by British dramatist and director working for stage, television and film, Terry Johnson (1955-) [1]. Premièred on 1 August 1993 at the Royal Court Theatre in London.


A play fictionalising a real life 1938 meeting between Salvador Dali and Sigmund Freud a year before the latter's death. It is named after the Freudian psychological term "hysteria". [2]

The playwright is fascinated by the way dreams function according to Freud. The result is a tragi-comedy of conscience, a fantasy farce, a surreal event, a dream play, a dream work.

Performance history in South Africa

1995: Presented by the Market Theatre, 1995, directed by Clare Stopford. Designer Andrew Botha, lighting designer Wesley France, sound designer Dean Pitman. The cast: Dale Cutts (Dr Abraham Yahuda), Leila Henriques (Jessica), Dawid Minnaar (Salvador Dali), Robert Whitehead (Sigmund Freud), Michele Bradshaw, Barbara Brislin, Teresa Ewan, Nicole Metzer, Samuel Mofokeng.

1997: Presented by CAPAB Drama, first performed in the Nico Theatre on 29 March 1997. Directed by Roy Sargeant, lighting design by John T. Baker. The cast: Ralph Lawson as Sigmund Freud, Shirley Johnston as Jessica, John Whiteley as Abraham Yahuda and Jonathan Pienaar as Salvador Dali. Other cast members were Jana van Niekerk, Matthew Roberts and others. This production was previously presented at the Durban Playhouse where it opened on 4 November 1995.

Translations and adaptations


Hysteria theatre programmes 1995 and 1997.

Ruphin Coudyzer. 2023. Annotated list of his photographs of Market Theatre productions. (Provided by Coudyzer)

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