The Freud Museum

Events Archive

8 July 2016
6.30-8pm, drinks reception 8-9pm

The Psycho-Cultural Dynamics of Emotion, Power and Politics in Richard III

Panel discussion and performance

The Freud Museum in association with Bournemouth University present a special panel discussion on the themes of Shakespeare’s Richard III and the motivations of its characters and the play’s relevance for contemporary understandings of emotion and politics. The event includes the performance of some key speeches from the play as performed by actors from the award-winning theatre ensemble, The Faction.

Shakespeare’s Richard III and the myths that surround him continue to fascinate, divide and intrigue audiences. The emotional intensity of the play, with its Machiavellian themes of ruthless politics and power resonate strongly within the cultural and political imagination and tap into contemporary dilemmas about the meanings of political leadership, nation and identity. The emotive themes of Shakespeare’s play and its complex characters also evoke psychoanalytic understandings of narcissism, jealousy and envy. These emotional themes, which relate to culture, character and processes of the unconscious, will be explored in the course of the panel discussion.


Panel speakers include:

Michael Rustin (University of East London), Margaret Rustin (Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust), Rachel Valentine Smith and Mark Leipacher (The Faction) Candida Yates (Bournemouth University).


Followed by a drinks reception & book launch of

Candida Yates, The Play of Political Culture, Emotion and Identity, Palgrave Macmillan

Speaker Biographies

Mark Leipacher is Artistic Director of The Faction for whom he has directed adaptations of Cervantes, Chaucer, Chekhov, Euripides, Goethe, Homer, Ibsen, Pirandello, Strindberg, a new stage version of Highsmith's The Talented Mr Ripley (4 Off West End Award nominations), five works by Schiller (Peter Brook Award and Off West End Award), and eight plays by Shakespeare including a production of Hamlet featuring a digital performance of Simon Russell Beale as the Ghost, and a 2016 production of Richard III. He has also portrayed Richard on stage in 2008 production. He is Adjunct Faculty lecturing in Shakespeare Studies at Syracuse University London, a visiting director at the American School in London, and a Chair of Platforms at the National Theatre. His book on actor-director collaboration, Catching The Light, is published by Oberon Books.

Margaret Rustin is a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychotherapist, an Associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society and a Child Analyst. She was Head of Child Psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic in London from 1985 to 2007. She has published many articles, and co-edited Closely Observed Infants; Assessment and Child Psychotherapy, Psychotic States in Children, Work Discussion, and Young Child Observation (2013). She is co-author, with Michael Rustin, of Narratives of Love and Loss: Studies in Modern Children’s Literature, and Mirror to Nature: Drama, Psychoanalysis and Society. and their Reading Klein will be published in 2016.

Michael Rustin is a Professor of Sociology at the University of East London, a Visiting Professor at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, and an Associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society. He has published widely on the interrelations between psychoanalyis, culture and society. His books include The Good Society and the Inner World, Reason and Unreason, and The Inner World of Doctor Who (with Iain MacRury). He edited, with David Armstrong, Social Defences against Anxiety: Explorations in a Paradigm, published in November 2014. Margaret and Michael Rustin share a long-standing interest in the theatre.

Rachel Valentine Smith is Artistic Director of The Faction for whom she has directed adaptations of Aeschylus, Euripides, Goethe, Ibsen, Kafka, Lorca, Schiller, three works by Shakespeare, a celebration of film noir called Moerder, the English language premiere of An Arab Woman Speaks for Dario Fo's 90th birthday festivities, and Gorky's Vassa Zheleznova currently running at the Southwark Playhouse. She was Education Director of Themba in South Africa, taking forum theatre work into townships and drafting curricula for drama studies. She is an alumnus of the Directors Lab at New York's Lincoln Center, and a NESTA-award nominated short filmmaker.

Candida Yates is Professor of Culture and Communication in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournmouth University. Her research background is in Psychosocial Studies and its application to media and popular culture. She is Director (with Caroline Bainbridge, University of Roehampton) of the AHRC Media and Inner World research network, and has published widely on the psychosocial dynamics of politics, emotion, gender and popular culture. Her publications include The Play of Political Culture, Emotion and Identity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Television and Psychoanalysis (co-ed, Karnac Books, 2014) Media and the Inner World: Psycho-Cultural Approaches to Emotion, Media and Popular Culture (co-ed, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

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