| Sarah Kane
more: performances 2005-1
Blasted in Norway (premiere)
Blasted was on in Norwegian is at Den Nationale Scene, Bergen, Norway from 3-17 Dec 2005.
"Den middelaldrende tabloidjournalisten Ian, som er døende av lungekreft, inviterer en jente, Cate, inn på sitt hotellrom fordi han trenger oppmuntring. Så snart de er innenfor døren begynner han å misbruke henne fysisk og psykisk. Plutselig stormer en soldat inn og rommet sprenges av en bombe. Det foregår med ett en krig, både rundt og i rommet. Cate flykter mens soldaten forteller Ian hvor jævlig krigen er. Soldaten voldtar og torturerer Ian før han dreper seg selv. Cate kommer tilbake med et spedbarn hun har fått av krigsofrene utenfor. Barnet dør og Ian forsøker å spise det. Til slutt forsøker Ian å gjemme seg under gulvplankene i rommet, mens Cate sitter blødende fra underlivet på sengen.".
Site visitor Ingird writes "I went to see Blasted in Bergen, Norway, a couple of weeks ago, and I have never seen anything like it. The images and stomach-feelings keeps hanging inside you. Thorleif Linhave Bamle, the young director, is going to make his way I am sure. I was really impressed. And Sarah Kane makes it clear for me why the theatre is so unique".
Phaedra's Love in New York, USA
One Year Lease presented three Phaedra's- Racine's version translated by Ted Hughes, Matthew Maguire's version and Kane's Phaedra's Love. The director was Ianthe Demos and the actors were Danny Bernady, Jim Kane, Christina Lind, Sussanna Melone and Gregory Waller. The plays were on from 29 Nov- 22 Dec 2005 in the Cherry Lane Alternative, New York.
"...It is significant to note that there is a progression in the three shows if you look at them one after another, from Hughes to Maguire to Kane. You progress from Hughes' world where Phaedra's passion is not permissible under any circumstance to the Maguire text where she could act on her passion but it would inevitably mean her removal from power, to the Kane play where she is able to act out her desire (to some extent). In each adaptation, the destruction becomes more and more violent. The brutality escalates in the trilogy as the power structure that Phaedra and the other characters exist in becomes more and more corrupt..." (interview from New York Theatre Voices here).
"...For all the detachment- actors interact with each other as if theyre on different planes of existence- Phaedras Love is extremely affecting. Not the lines themselves, those are either sterilized by their monotonous deliveries or laughed at nervously. Not the characters either: theyre absent, and its hard to feel attached or invested. But the technical precision, the whole process of subtle expressionism . . . youd have to be familiar with Phaedra (and thanks to Phaedra x3, you can) to understand that we are seeing everything through Phaedras maddened eyes..." (review from New Theatre Corps here).
Crave in France
Crave was presented at La Comédie de Saint-Etienne from 22-26 Nov 2006. It was directed by Philippe Zarch and the translation was by Evelyne Pieiller. The actors were Fabien Grenon, Valérie Larroque, Danielle Pasquier and Christian Scelles.
"Dès la première image de Crave, nous sommes aspirés, comme si, trop proches du quai au passage du train, nous étions happés avec les personnages que nous découvrons peu à peu, dans le no man's land du plateau. Deux hommes et deux femmes parlent d'amour, tour à tour à eux-mêmes, aux autres, à celui qu'on voit dans l'autre, à celui qu'on a en tête, à ceux qui les écoutent Un torrent d'impressions, un kaléidoscope de désirs, un chant d'amour, d'amour qui manque à en crever."
Click on the image for more details.
4.48 Psychose, Austria
4.48 Psychosis in German was presented by STUTHE at dietheater Künstlerhaus in Vienna from 16-19 Nov 2005. The actors were Martin Thomas Pesl, Sophie Prusa (IrrSinnige/ lunatic), Sophie Zwölfer (IrrSinnige/ lunatic) and the director was Carina Riedl.
"Psychopathologische Störungen (Essstörungen, Selbstverletzungen, Suchtverhalten usw.), Neurosen, Selbstmordgedanken und ausgeführter Suizid sind Phänomene, die mehr und mehr um sich greifen. Nach wie vor werden diese Probleme an den Rand des gesellschaftlichen Bewusstseins gedrängt, obwohl sie eine Dimension erreicht haben, die eine genaue und intensive Auseinandersetzung mit ihnen verlangen würde. Mit "4.48 Psychose" von Sarah Kane wollen wir die Verfasstheit einer Welt zeigen, der Orientierungshilfen wie Moral und Religion verloren gegangen sind. Von jedem Individuum wird verlangt, das es sich Identität selbst stiftet. In einer Zeit, die Selbstverantwortlichkeit über alles stellt, ist die Gefahr groß, Menschen in ihrem Scheitern allein zu lassen. Mit der Arbeit an ihrem letzten Stück, das posthum erschienen ist, möchten wir dem Glauben an ein unausrottbares Refugium der Hoffnung Ausdruck verleihen - das der Liebe. Denn der mit einem anderen geteilte Moment, die gemeinsame Erfahrung mit dem menschlichen Gegenüber sind das, was uns nachhaltig am Leben hält."
Click on the image for more details. You can also download a trailer. Thanks to Patricia and Martin for the information.
Phaedra's Love at Bite Festival, London and Bristol
The Bite Festival at the Barbican, London had a season of works by "young geniuses". Sarah Kane was represented by Phaedra's Love alongside Christopher Marlowe, Robert Lepage, Wole Soyinka and others. Phaedra's Love was on from 16-26 Nov 2005. The director was Anne Tipton, the designer was Naomi Dawson, lighting was by Emma Chapman and sound by Gareth Fry and assistant director Alex Sims. It was co-produced by Bristol Old Vic, BITE:05, Barbican and the Young Vic.
Before Phaedra's Love transferred to
the BITE festival in London it played in Bristol from 20
Oct to 5 Nov 2005. The actors were Laurence
Penry-Jones (Hippolytus), Diana Kent (Phaedra), Alexandra
Moen (Strophe), Brian Hickey (Doctor/Priest/Policeman 2),
Dan Mullane (Theseus), Zara Ramm (Woman 1), Stuart
Crossman (Man 1), Craig Anthony (Policeman 1) plus Kate
Mayne, Emily Moore, Sophie Williams, Children: Jem
Brownlee and Maria Montague.
"Diana Kent's Phaedra is as tense, lean and watchful as her would-be toy-boy is slack, bloated and vacant-eyed. "Wake up with it, burning me," she rasps, choking on love's annihilating power. Blending tragic emotion with the age of junk food, there's nothing disposable about the dialogue; every utterance moves the action forward and Anne Tipton's production - beautifully lit by Emma Chapman so that at one point the burning Phaedra disappears in a red haze - has a matching finesse" (Dominic Cavendish, Arts-telegraph 31 Oct 2005).
"This hour long take on Seneca is a devastating piece of work that pulls few punches. The despairing Phaedra (Diana Kent) pours her soul out for Hippolytus (Laurence Penry-Jones) in a powerfully, ferocious display of lust, longing and loss of self only to be driven to suicide by his rejection. Their world has no hope, no relationship that means anything, even language has become bankrupt. Anne Tiptons production in the Studio places spectator in a shared space with the actors for an intense and often disturbing deconstruction of emotions. There is a moment of beauty as Phaedras funeral pyre consumes her, a short pause before a finale of graphic horror and extreme violence which has given Kane, perhaps an unfair reputation. Yes, the images shock and the language is strong, yet within this play there is an analysis of longing, loneliness, emptiness and ultimate despair" (Stewart McGill, Reviewsgate 4 Nov 2005)
"...in a line that shows Kane's underrated gift for comedy, a doctor tells Phaedra that "there's nothing wrong with him medically, he's just very unpleasant...But the production could do with a more Jacobean sense of theatrics. If anything, Anne Tipton's pared-down production needs to be more revoltingly bloody, more poetically searing. In Kane's gruesome world, you can't stint on the ketchup" (Robert Gore-Langton in The Independent, 4 Nov 2005).
"...after a confident start Anne Tipton's production, with its messily choreographed mob scenes, goes to pieces. It gives us the sense of a festering royal family, but captures little of the play's agonised mortality. The acting is as frustratingly patchy as Kane's script. Brian Hickey's Doctor wastes his blackly funny lines, Alexandra Moen's Strophe is as weirdly fake as a shop mannequin, and it's mildly silly when Dan Mullane's Theseus starts to tear his hair out. Phaedra's Love should eviscerate you: here it just grosses you out" (thewebloge, 18 Nov 2005, here)
4.48 Psychosis in Chicago
The Steppenwolf Visiting Company
Initiative presenteded 4.48 Psychosis at In the Garage
Theatre. It was on from 10 Nov- 23 Dec 2005.
The director was Sean Graney and the actors Stacy Stoltz,
Halena Kays, Jennifer Grace, Samantha Gleisten, Mechelle
Moe and John Byrnes.
Click on the image for more details.
"The intensity of the show is tangible and overwhelming, amplified by the action happening on every side of the viewer. The lights and sound of the production create a surreal world populated by phantoms dressed in sadistic blue Victorian-era dresses with mutilated baby dolls suspended over their heads, from metal poles lodged in the backs of their corsets. It is terrifying and disturbing, more and more so as the play approaches a startling degree of involvement. Because of this, two rest periods are included, which are small moments that are not part of the play - they are designed simply to give the audience a chance to breathe. It is a testament to the depth of "Psychosis 4.48" that these rests are always a relief, a much needed chance to step out of the insanity, check yourself over and prepare once again to experience madness on a very personal level" (Joe Donegan in The Phoenix, 7 Dec 2005).
"Director Graney offers something larger in size. His six-actor staging is environmental and fluid. At the beginning of "4.48 Psychosis" the audience is seated in a U-shaped pattern surrounding a tented stage area. At the designated moment you pass through the vinyl tentlike flaps to the inner sanctum. On one side of the inner space a blood-red bedroom catches your eye: A man (John Byrnes) lies asleep, while the woman in crisis (Stacy Stoltz) crouches on the floor. On the other side of the stage, in a sickly-yellow doctor's office, actress Mechelle Moe perches over a computer keyboard beneath her diplomas. In between sits a pristine white bathroom. Here, Stoltzwho pours her heart into this exhausting rolerevisits over and over the notion of suicide by pills, by razor, by hanging. Graney adds a chorus of weird sisters, specters of doom dressed as punk Marie Antoinettes, played by Halena Kays, Jennifer Grace and Samantha Gleisten. They're chilling, although the staging piles on near the end, just when it would be better off going for calm, cold intimacy. At one point, underscoring the self-inflicting word "punch," the three spooks physically brutalize the suicidal woman." (Michael Philips in Metromix here).
4.48 Psychose in USA, Canada, Germany, Luxembourg and Italy
Isabelle Huppert continued her successful world tour of the French 4.48 Psychosis. Directed by Claude Régy and the actors were Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Watkins. The translation was by Evelyne Pieiller.
Site visitor Julie (thanks Julie) says "It was extremely minimalist, Huppert remained immobile throughout the entire two-hour performance. It was quite remarkable, really. Her feet did not move once, she did not shift her weight, or bend her knees, a single time. Her arms were at her sides, hands in fists, and they rarely moved. Occasionally, she would point a finger toward the floor, usually when someone in the audience coughed (if someone on the left side of the theater coughed, she'd make that tiny gesture with her left hand, and vice versa for the right). She recited the text in a very deliberate monotone, sometimes slowing it down (as when she was "conversing" with the only other actor in the play--Gérard Watkins--who remained behind the semi-transparent screen); sometimes speeding it up. She shouted a few select lines (during the angry with God passage). Her eyes seemed to tear up a couple of times. Between scenes, short audio clips by Jeff Buckley and Joy Division were played. I asked Huppert about the music (I met her at a luncheon last week) and she said it had been chosen by the director, Claude Régy."
The dates were:
Cleansed in London and discussion
The Oxford Stage Company presented Cleansed at the Arcola Theatre, London. The director was Sean Holmes and the actors were Sean Gallagher (Rod), Toby Dantzic (Carl), Graig Gazey, Polly Frame, Lisa Diveney, Paul Brennan and Garry Collins.
It was on from 2 Nov- 3 Dec 2005. Click on the image for more details. The photo is by Tristram Kenton.
"...he even forces a retarded chap... to consume, one by one, an entire box of chocolates. That scene alone - punishing to watch - shows that however close to parody events get, Kane had a macabre sense of humour that could anticipate and outwit charges of gratuitousness. The script may be full of barren, broken phrases, but the images and the thoughts that underpin them are lush in their ghoulishness. While it's easy to be over-reverent towards Kane since her suicide in 1999, this revival reminds you that none in her generation could touch her for theatrical moments that burn the roof of your - wide agape - mouth off." (Dominic Cavendish, Arts Telegraph, 10 Nov 2005).
Crave in Cambridge, UK
Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club presented Crave on 25 Oct 2005 at adc theatre, Cambridge, UK. The cast were Will Featherstone (A), Ben Reizenstein (B), Rebecca Pitt (C), Sarah Brocklehurst (M). The director was Shantelle David, producer Olivia Humphreys, stage manager Hannah Mabbutt, assistant stage manager Clemence Gallimard, costume designer Jenny Commin, lighting designer Patrick Harty, James Robinson, publicity manager Mike Morley, set designer Sarah Barnett, sound designer Austin Anderson, assistant director Osheen Jones and technical director Lizzie Fellowes- Freeman.
"The minimal set design added to the already disturbed atmosphere on the stage with broken chairs strewn all over the stage. The clever lighting was also used sparingly to full effect with subtle changes used only where necessary." (Homerton Union of Students Herald 2).
Click to Shantelle for the photo.
Crave in Chicago, USA
The Chicago premiere of Crave was by The Side Project. It was directed by Stephen Cone and the cast were Elizabeth Hipwell, Sadie Rogers, Will Schutz and John Wilson. The press preview was on 23 Oct 2005 and it ran from 27 Oct to 4 Dec 2005.
Click on the image for more details. Thanks to Elizabeth and Adam for the information.
"The show opens to an empty stage with four chairs. Each cast member slowly enters the stage, pausing at the doorway to stare right through the audience for what seem like an eternity.. After doing a paranoid check of the stage, each inmate sat down and stared in silence. This process took 10 minutes or so. The nonverbal movements and gestures suggested a group of psychotics. Once the talking started it was a machine gun like repetitious babble in a weird sort of disjointed rhythm together with chair throwing, groping, shouting, screaming in anger outbursts, filled with bewilderment and frustration... My question is this: who is the audience for this incoherent babble? Why was it written? And why produce this dreadful work?" (Tom Williams in ChicagoCritic).
"Schultz and Rogers are the plays stand-out perfromances because of their ability to make the audience feel as if Kane wrote this dialogue with them in mind. In the end, "Crave" isn't about having a fun night at the theater, and it's not about leaving the audience with questions. In fact, it barely asks a question itself, which may perhaps be the one thing lacking in the production. It is presented at such a rapid speed that the audience barely has time to digest any of the performance and not enough time is spent on deciphering the play's message. As it is, the audience must create its own questions and come to its own conclusions. And if Kane's writing sheds any light on her perception of theater, that will lead to a fun night in and of itself." (Ira Madison, The Phoenix, 7 Dec 2005 )
Phaidras Liebe (Phaedra's Love) in Germany
Phaidras Liebe was presented in at Schauspielhaus Bochum. The director was Lisa Nielebock, the actors included Manuela Alphons (Phaidra) and Benno Ifland (Theseus). The premiere was 23 Oct 2005.
"Und so nimmt sich Mama Phaidra (Manuela Alphons) das Leben und klagt den verzogenen Spross der Vergewaltigung an. Als Papa Theseus (Benno Ifland) endlich nach Hause kommt, findet er nur noch Ruinen seiner Königsfamilie. 1996 schilderte die amerikanische Dramatikerin Sarah Kane die Unmöglichkeit der Liebe, indem sie das antike Drama mit drastischen, modernen Worten erzählt und in extreme Bilder übersetzt. Lisa Nielebrock macht daraus im Theater unter Tage eine gelungene Geschichtsstunde, die in einer knappen Stunde eine (antike) Tragödie vermittelt, auf die die Sensationspresse auch heute scharf wäre."
4.48 Psychose in Magdeburg, Germany
4.48 Psychose was performed in German at the Theater Magdeburg between 24 Sept and 2 Dec 2005. The director was Lukas Langhoff. The actors were Melanie Straub, Iris Albrecht and Jon-Kaare Koppe.
"Das Stück ist eine Reise durch eine zersplitterte Seele. Mit Präzision, Poesie, bitterem Witz, schonungsloser Konsequenz und sprachlichem Furor dringt es ein in die seelischen Abgründe unserer Existenz. Es ist das Dokument einer extremen psychischen Krise und zugleich ein dramatisches Gedicht. Unterschiedliche Textbruchstücke sind darin hart aneinandergesetzt: tagebuchartige Zustandsbeschreibungen, nüchterne Auflistungen von Psychopharmaka, wütende Anklagereden gegen die deprimierende Einrichtung dieser Welt und gegen das eigene Ich, Beschwörungen der Liebe, Gesprächsfetzen zwischen Patient und behandelnden Ärzten, eruptive Wortkaskaden. Auch wenn sich immer wieder ein trotziges Bekenntnis zum Leben und die Sehnsucht nach Liebe artikuliert der Text ist Ausdruck einer Krankheit zum Tode. Der Panzer der Einsamkeit ist so mächtig und die Traurigkeit des Herzens so schwer, daß der Weg in den selbstgewählten Tod unausweichlich zu werden scheint. 4.48 Uhr ist jene Zeit zwischen Nacht und Morgen, in der der Kopf von Dämonen heimgesucht wird und zugleich am klarsten ist. »Ein Moment von Klarheit vor der ewigen Nacht."
Click on the image for more details. Thanks to Carsten for the information.
click arrows for performances of other years
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