'Time for bed, children - the Sandman's coming...'
Based on E. T. A. Hoffmann's eerie tale of the same name, the Sandman invites
you to step into the memories of troubled young man Nathaniel, haunted since
childhood by a sinister figure he calls 'the sandman'. Guided by Nathaniel's
voice, follow him as he leads you through the house he once knew as a boy, and
up the stairs to a room filled with his half-forgotten childhood memories - where
he is finally compelled to look the past in the eye.
The Sandman has been commissioned by the Freud Museum London as part of its
A Centenary exhibition, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Freud's 1919 essay 'The Uncanny'.
Hoffmann's tale is discussed throughout Freud's essay, credited with evoking 'a quite
unparalleled atmosphere of uncanniness'. Staged as an audio-visual installation around
the Freud family home in Hampstead, this reinterpretation of Nathaniel's story invites
audiences to explore the house through the eyes of a young boy, encountering doubles,
mirrors, dolls, and other unsettling things along the way.
The Uncanny: A Centenary features new artwork by Lili Spain, Karolina Urbaniak,
Martin Bladh and Martha Todd, as well as etchings by the German Surrealist Hans Belmer,
talks and events, and an Uncanny Masked Ball. Watch the exhibition trailer here:
Written, directed and designed by Elizabeth Dearnley
Nathaniel - Timothy Allsop
Sound Design and Audio Editing - Tamsin Dearnley
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England