Author Topic: numbers in 4.48?- jodie  (Read 11032 times)

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Offline Jimmy

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Re: numbers in 4.48?- jodie
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2008, 02:57:01 PM »
A year or so ago, after directing an extract from Psychosis, I wrote a cut-down version of the play which concentrated on the relationship between the patient and the doctor, turning it into a sort of love story. For the numbers, I had the patient trying to write the first sequence and failing. For the second sequence the doctor physically helps her and she manages it. However, in becoming involved with her emotionally the doctor becomes unable to help her professionally, leading to her suicide.

Offline deadangel

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Re: numbers in 4.48?- jodie
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2008, 07:25:33 PM »
I read about the serial sevens too and that they are used as a test to recognize what frame of mind the patient is in at certain times of the day.
I am currently preparing a performance of 4.48 psychosis for my A Level and i am stuck on  the serial sevens part of the play. I was wondering if you or anyone else had any ideas?
Thanks

It says in the Graham Saunders book on Sarah Kane ('Love me or kill me' Sarah Kane and the theatre of extremes) that the numbers are indeed an indication of the coherence of the patient, that is common in psychiatric evaluation. And that obviously during the first try the 'voice' doesn't manage it, but on the second try they do. This is mentioned in an interview with Daniel Evans, one of the actors from the play, in the second half of the book.

As for how to portray the difference between the different number cycles and the different states of mind on stage, I don't have any specific ideas, but would be interested to hear what other people have thought/done, since I've never seen the play performed. In general the way in which the words are set up on the page typographically seem to be significant in 4.48, and I think it must be a challenge to translate that to the stage.

I agree with someone above here who commented on how the medication seemed to be able to make the patient coherent enough to do the numbers exercise clearly, but didn't really help with her general condition. I guess I see the person speaking the first sequence as not completely 'here', whereas during the second sequence maybe staring straight ahead, clearly focused, but also clearly joyless.

Aimee

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Re: numbers in 4.48?- jodie
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2008, 02:35:34 PM »
I read about the serial sevens too and that they are used as a test to recognize what frame of mind the patient is in at certain times of the day.
I am currently preparing a performance of 4.48 psychosis for my A Level and i am stuck on  the serial sevens part of the play. I was wondering if you or anyone else had any ideas?
Thanks

Offline archive

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Re: numbers in 4.48?- Dan
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2007, 12:27:48 PM »
As I remember seeing the play at the Royal Court, the numbers were written down franticly. The first lot anyway. The mirror above the stage reflected to the audience those numbers also. What I got from it was a sence of attempting to bring order to a blasted, fragmented mind. The inability for one to touch the other. Desired or otherwise. Distance. I got the book of the play later on. I thought of "mood" as may be plotted on a graph. Starting at tip-top, new day, 100% for ever and ever. Let's see what happens. A blip in the middle. But ending up just above rock-bottom.. The second lot, consistently, in job lots, down. No f*cking about. I had thought of those Ticker-timer tapes when measuring the descent of a lump of wood on wheels traveling down a acceleration compensated slope. Then other masses loaded on top to measure acceleration and get a number as close to 9.8 m/s/s. GRAVITY. That kind of thing. (Ever done one of those market research things where you tick certain boxes and the problems encountered when your answers just don't fit). I remember seeing a picture in kind of psychological book where the eye movements of a "schizophenic" were mapped onto the picture. (It was not unlike that of a Bruegel) It was all over the place and outside that of the frame as well. Not by much though. An identical picture was alongside it with the eyemovements of a "normal". These were pretty stationary, around a few figures and objects. Here is a quote of a quote taken from the book Koolaids by Rabih Alameddine (published 1998), "Normality highly values it's normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years. R.D.Laing, a British psychiatrist. Need I say more?" Well I'd like to know something of what was included in the figure. Someone I knew some time ago put it even clearer, "A child is born into this world it's head is filled with sh*t". Right, time for some air!

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Re: numbers in 4.48?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2007, 12:26:52 PM »
A friend of a friend is putting up a production of 4:48 here in the states and she thinks that when the numbers appear the second time it represents when a person of severe mental distress finally decides to kill themselves, everything becomes clear, therefore the character was able to perform the serial 7 perfectly.

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Re: numbers in 4.48?- nils
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2007, 12:26:20 PM »
i am sure you are right about the serial 7 theory. when she is on medication the numbers are strictly serial 7, when she is not the numbers are all over the place. it shows how the medication help her brain to function "normally" (but it doesnt help her soul)

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Re: numbers in 4.48?- Jess
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2007, 12:25:41 PM »
I think that's a really fascinating insight about the numbers, and certainly seems possible. I think the numbers in 4.48 are so poetic, in that numbers have such personal significance to each person, and Kane encourages a personal reading by using the numbers so ambigiously. But very interesting info about the Serial 7 test nonetheless...

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Re: numbers in 4.48?- CodieK
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2007, 12:25:02 PM »
I've been reading and reading this play and working on it with some friends to try to really understand it. One of the actors has a background in psychiatric care and had heard something called the "Serial 7" administered to patients as an assessment test. Basically it is given to test the clarity of the patient's thought processes, and how organized/unorganized their thought patterns are at the time. In the first series of numbers there is disorder and inability to count backwards by intervals of seven from 100 correctly, but in the second series of numbers it is done without mistake. I think this might be an affect of the drugs evening things out and making it possible for the patient to perform the task. That's one possibility at least...? What do you think?

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Offline archive

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numbers in 4.48?- jodie
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2007, 12:24:20 PM »
I was just wondering what peoples thoughts were on the number sequences in 4.48 and what they think they might be expressing? thanks

Archive 30-11-2001
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