Follies embodied: A Kleinian perspective | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1750-3159
  • E-ISSN: 1750-3167


Director Eric Schaeffer’s revival of Follies, which transferred to Broadway’s Marquis Theatre in August 2011 after a limited run at the Kennedy Center, is, like all previous incarnations of the musical, deeply concerned with the functions and dysfunctions of the human mind. This article examines the representation of mental life in the 2011 Broadway revival of Follies through the lens of psychoanalytic theorist Melanie Klein. Interpreting Sally Durant Plummer as a constitutive force of the show’s complex psychological landscape, the article analyses the ways in which Schaeffer’s staging of the ‘Loveland’ sequence treats and resolves the psychic tensions in Follies. The conclusion probes into the psychosocial implications of Schaeffer’s mise-en-scène and suggests a way of re-evaluating the musical’s finale in dialogue with Klein.


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