Sabina is based on the true story of the relationship – by turns therapeutic, personal and collegial – between Sabina Spielrein and Carl Jung. Spielrein, who was entrusted to Jung's care in 1905, went on to make a remarkable recovery, and later became one of the first female psychoanalysts. Her bond with Jung has been the subject of much investigation, concerning both the facts and the implications of their friendship.
In Wilson's play, the miraculous nature of Sabina's recovery is seen as the starting point for Jung's belief in the paranormal – effecting a break in the tradition of psychoanalysis between Freud and Jung, and bringing into stark relief the question of patient-doctor rapport – a key feature of the therapeutic alliance even today.
Described by the Tribune as ‘a typically surreal and unrestarined work . . . wonderfully theatrical . . . this is a rough-and-tumble occasion in which theory bumps into farce and poetry is drowned by shouting’, Sabina was first produced at the Bush Theatre, London, in February 1998, in a production directed by Andy Wilson.