Sadly Dr Freud’s Cabaret is on indefinite hiatus following the death, after suffering from breast cancer, of its prime mover, Charlotte Greig.
Ten original songs in the voices of Freud’s early patients, written by Charlotte Greig and Anthony Reynolds
Based on the text of Freud’s case studies
Featuring Euros Childs, Jon Langford, Julie Murphy, Anthony Reynolds, Laura J. Martin, and others
Beautiful limited edition hand-sewn wallet with lyrics booklet, vintage postcard, appointment card, etc. Designed by Jeb Loy Nichols.
Studies in Hysteria, the first album release by Dr Freud’s Cabaret, is a set of songs in the voices of Freud’s early patients. They’re an attempt to enter the psychic world of those patients, both the famous ones – such as The Wolf Man, The Rat Man, and Dora – and the more obscure, like Rosalie, the singer who came to him for help because she had lost her voice. Freud himself also makes an appearance, with an ode to cocaine, the wonder drug he thought he had discovered. There’s also a song from Anna O, the first psychoanalytic patient, who called the treatment ‘the talking cure’.
All of the songs are based on the actual texts of Freud’s case studies, often using exact the words and phrases that he’d noted down as he listened to his patients – tales of chimney sweeps, white wolves in walnut trees, crumpled giraffes, lost pince-nez, waltzing women, caged birds, burning houses, blackened breasts, and fountains of snow. He tried to make sense of what they told him – with mixed results – but he was revolutionary in that he actually listened carefully to what they said.
The songs were mostly written by Charlotte Greig, some co-written with Anthony Reynolds. In an early stage of the project, they performed the set a duo on stage. When it came to making the album, Charlotte invited a number of other artists, mostly based in Wales, to sing the songs: Angharad van Rijswijk (Trwbadour), Euros Childs, Jon Langford, Laura J. Martin, Julie Murphy, and Richard James. A small band was formed, with Charlotte on piano and clarinet, Guto Dafis on melodeon, Eugene Capper on violin and viola, and Julian Hayman on guitar.
Thus it was that Dr Freud’s Cabaret, a loose ensemble of artists, came into being, and the album Studies in Hysteria was born. In future, we hope to keep the project as a moveable feast, perhaps picking other singers to perform the songs when we’re on tour, and building the show into a piece of musical theatre.
Or maybe just keeping it simple, as it is. Who knows?
This is just the start.