Act Two Synopsis by Don Mowatt


Act II opens with a burst of emotion, satire, complaints and frustrations by the patients and staff at Burghölzli....a release from the strictures of their routines and regulations. Furtwängler is enraged that his chief psychiatrist would participate in this anarchy. This is the bi-polar extreme, a manic expression of moon-drawn images and tensions (lunacy) in which Blavinskaya seems very much at home. Jung, the life protagonist, whose physical dynamism matches his intellectual virtuosity, is confronted by the forces of death. And the living stage on which this battle is fought is the clinic, a chaotic personification of the borderlands between reality and fantasy, life and death.


Lady Sybil takes Pilgrim into the clinic garden for a picnic. She recalls her friendship with him, trying to calm him. It is their last time together in Jung's dream. Lady Sybil dies in an avalanche.


Pilgrim becomes increasingly agitated, following Lady Sybil’s death in the mountains. He is destructive to himself and the clinic as he battles to escape life and the dream world of his psychiatrist, Jung. Death begins to surround them all now as Blavinskaya, the loveliest of the patients, jumps to her death thinking she's flying home to the moon. Jung is being drawn into his own dream realm as are his other patients.


Jung and Pilgrim spar for victory, Pilgrim railing against Jung's methods. In the end, Pilgrim makes his escape and dies. Pilgrim, who was born in the unconscious of Jung's mind and on the great scientist's marriage bed, is laid to rest with a great disclaimer by the master dreamer. But Emma is the one who sees the way ahead.


Amidst total disintegration at the clinic, Emma's is the vision that allows Jung to re-enter the real world, free once more to continue listening to the cries of his poor, suffering patients and begin the healing again.