Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Eine kleine nacht spiel, part three: the what did I think of it

What did I think? Of the production, that’s easy. It was as excellently acted, carefully directed and arrestingly staged as you come to expect in Lottery theatres. Of the play itself, though? That’s far harder. Its structure and its writing are both fine, of course. Well, better than fine, in fact. Far better. But there’s something beyond that which, well, I don’t even really know myself . . .

A few thoughts, though . . .

* The blood-red red of the set made me think of the womb — it is MK’s consulting room

* There was something of The Servant or Pasolini’s Theorem about the play — the outsider who comes in and takes over

* Paula Heimann was, I finally realised after much head-scratching, played by the actress who was Ruth in Spooks — a Ruth, in fact, who was no stranger to fiction (suitably, given the above)

* It’s a truism (and, in my experience, true) that analysts don’t make good parents — this play certainly more than hints at that

* Melanie Klein analysed Melitta — no analyst would do that now but, surely, even at the time, it must have seemed improper at least

* Paula Heimann, in time, also fell out with MK — though there is no hint of this future discord in the play

* Hanna Segal — who did become MK’s representative on earth and who is still alive — blamed MK’s own mother for her ‘bad’ mothering of Melitta

* The analytic world is fractious beyond all imaginings — even more so than the play presents

* Analysis is — if you believe it has any meaning at all — a form of biography, in good part, at the very least

* A love of gossip is one of the human universals, according to anthropologist Donald E Brown

* In discussing the history of psychoanalysis, analysts are wont — very wont — to dismiss biographical discussion as ‘mere gossip’

* Psychoanalysis prides itself on its unblinking view of humanity — though maybe not of psychoanalysis or, more particularly, psychoanalysts or, even more particularly, the ‘great’ and ‘good’ ones

PS1 Nothing to do with psychoanalysis (or any of the other things I usually blog about) at all but . . . there is a print and pot sale of students' work at Morley College (near Waterloo) tomorrow lunchtime. The work (at least some of it) is of staggering quality. I went today and bought all your Christmas presents. Well, ones those of you I actually bother to buy presents for. The teapot and harlequin set of half a dozen cups and saucers I'm keeping for myself. If you go, say hello to my friend Duncan.

PS2 This is the third of a five-part post. If you just pitched up, you might like to start here.

Next up Tomorrow belongs to . . . Thursday afternoon with the Kleins

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