Hailed as the young playwright of her generation Sarah Kane lays her soul bare as she disintegrates before you and sheds light on the darkness and struggle of mental illness. The numbers in the title refer to the time in the early morning when clarity and bleak despair strike together.
Containing no characters, stage directions or specified setting, 4:48 Psychosis is as unique as it is harrowing. Poetic, angry, full of love and frustration and darkly humorous this extraordinary work explores parts of the mind very few of us ever experience but from which some can never escape.
Kane herself dealt with issues of serious mental illness and committed suicide at 28 shortly after completing this work. In her final note to her agent, she wrote “Do with it what you will, just remember – writing it killed me”.
One of Sydney’s finest theatre directors Anthony Skuse (Constellations, Caress Ache) has compiled a brilliant cast including Lucy Heffernan (Blackrock), Sydney Theatre Award nominee Ella Prince (The Shadowbox) and Sydney Theatre Award Nominee Zoe Trilsbach (The Motherf**ker with the Hat).
“Working with a script so open to interpretation is both exciting and challenging as a theatre maker,” said producer Troy Harrison. “We decided early on that while the issue of suicide and mental health is universal and doesn’t discriminate between gender we wanted to keep Sarah Kane’s voice and have a cast of female actors.”
“A lot is said about this play possibly being Sarah’s suicide note and while we don’t think you can shy away from how distressing the play can be at times we think to focus on the outcome for Sarah Kane does a disservice to Sarah’s skill as a writer.”
Sarah Kane was an English playwright. Her plays deal with themes of redemptive love, sexual desire, pain, torture – both physical and psychological – and death. They are characterised by a poetic intensity, pared-down language, and the exploration of theatrical form. Her earlier works were known for the use of extreme and violent stage action.
Kane’s works include: Blasted (1995), Skin (1995), Phaedra’s Love (1996), Cleansed (1998), Crave (1998), and her final work, 4.48 Psychosis which was first performed posthumously in 2000 at the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre.
“Sarah Kane wrote simply and starkly about the world she saw around her… a mature and vividly theatrical response to the pain of living.” – The Guardian
Director: Anthony Skuse Featuring: Lucy Heffernan, Ella Prince, Zoe Trilsbach Set and Costume Design: Jeremy Allen Lighting Design: Alexander Berlage Composition and Live Music: Benjamin Freeman Stage Management: Genevieve Muratore
Old Fitz Theatre, 129 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo
Season: 16 August – 9 September 2017
Information and Bookings: www.redlineproductions.com.au
Image: Lucy Heffernan, Zoe Trilsbach and Ella Prince feature in 4-48 Psychosis – photo by John Marmaras