Everyman's ‘Freud’: drama onstage and off
Camden — The Everyman Rep is reviving its production of “Freud’s Last Session” at the Camden Public Library Reading Room, opening Saturday, Sept. 8 and running for two weekends. Performances will be Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., Sept. 8, 9, 15 and 16.
In part, this revival is due to the success of the show presented in early spring … and in part to allow Joe McGrann, the actor who played Freud in this witty and powerful two-hander, another chance at the role. He only played Freud in four of the eight performances of the first production and therein lies a tale. Shortly after 6 p.m. on the second Saturday of the show’s run, Dwight Burtis, who plays C.S. Lewis, the other character in the play, was grabbing a bottle of water in the Camden Rite Aid. But the store had just been robbed and when police officers on the scene spotted Burtis, a police detective, they asked him to act as duty detective and he had no choice but wait until another detective arrived.
Released, he drove to the library to start getting ready for the 7:30 p.m. show. A half hour before curtain, McGrann had yet to show. Burtis went to get a bottle of water from his car and found his police phone ringing. When he answered it, he was told McGrann was at the hospital as the result of a head-on collision … and kept insisting he had to go to the library to be in a play.
After informing production stage manager Keith Mackenzie, Burtis went to Pen Bay and found his castmate in a bad way, bleeding from multiple wounds on his face, broken bones around his eye, broken ankle, broken rib, lots of bruises including one bad one on his collar bone and his nose broken in two places. There was no way he could go on. At 7:15 p.m., half the audience was in their seats. Everyman artistic director Paul Hodgson hurriedly put a costume together while Jen, his wife, started to underline Freud’s lines in a spare script. At 7:40 p.m., Burtis and Hodgson walked on stage.
Today, McGrann is fit, well, unscarred and raring to go. He and Burtis have been polishing up their roles, with help from David Greenham, director of the original production. Tickets are $20, $10 for students, available from the Everyman’s box office, 236-0173, and at everymanrep.org; as well as from the Owl & Turtle and HAV II in Camden, The Reading Corner in Rockland and Bella Books in Belfast.