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Sarah Kane Sarah Kan
more: links to crave


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Debbie Harry- click for link Dan Bacalzo, 9 Nov 2000, Theatremania

Written as a four voice poetic drama, the play has some interesting ideas as well as truly haunting verbal imagery. There are references to genetic messages passed on from generation to generation, whether in the form of a broken nose or a mother's memory. One character describes herself as "an emotional plagiarist." Another tells us that he's a much nicer person now that he's had an affair, because he realizes that it doesn't mean anything.

Then, of course, there are the references to suicide. It is nearly impossible to listen to these passages without thinking of the playwright's own self-inflicted death less than a year after Crave was written. Even while resisting an autobiographical interpretation, it is difficult for one to process the hopelessness and despair of the language.

Kane's worldview is highly pessimistic; there's a reason why her work unsettled critics. Instead of hiding behind technology and stylized aesthetics, a good production of Crave needs to bring out the disturbing elements of the author's work.



Debbie Harry, crave- click for link Les Gutman, Curtin Up, 2000

Imagine yourself on a dark street corner in the West Village. Perhaps the one on Sheridan Square near Axis Theater's sleek, comfortable home (formerly the decrepit home of Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatre). There are four people, apparently two couples, within earshot. All of them are talking: sometimes to their putative partner, sometimes, it seems, to no one in particular, or perhaps it's to anyone who will listen to their anxious expressions of what sound like yearning or despair.

Sarah Kane Crave

We all succumb to the temptation to eavesdrop like this. It's usually brief, and we have to rely on our imagination to fill in the blanks: to wonder a bit more than we need to about these people, what's going on in their lives and in their minds. An older (but not old) woman and a younger man; a younger woman, and an older man: what's their story? who's in pursuit? what baggage do they carry with them?

Now imagine that serendipity steps in, and these conversations coalesce in a strikingly poetic way, a fantasia of love, lust, pain, humor, sadness, hope, resignation.... What we hear remains random, much as what we see in their faces is obscured by shadow.

This, roughly, is the nature of Sarah Kane's luxuriously dark Crave.


Debbie Harry Crave- click for link Deborah Harry and Blondie Tribute Site

The characters speak at times completely disparate of each other, at other times supportive and questioning of each other, and again at times seeming to act as different aspects of each other's personality - polar opposites whose words and thoughts act as the male and female sides of one entity.

The most moving monologue is also the least bleak, providing the only relief from the darkness of the rest of the play... character A describes his feelings of adoration for an un-introduced woman. The woman has enriched his life and fills his every waking moment, she is everything to him and he aches and longs for her, only to find torture in the fact that he is unable to relate his feelings and the woman ultimately leaves feeling rejected.

(click on Collaborations and Filmography then Review of Crave)


--- Colin MacLean, Edmonton Sun, 16 August 1999 (link has gone- www.canoe.ca/JamEdmontonFringe/review99_crave.html)

The closest approximation is to a string quartet. The words are delivered with a rhythmic pulse as if director Kevin Williamson used a metronome in putting it together, increasing and decreasing the tempo, turning up the intensity.

--- Riva Harrison, Winnipeg Sun, 8 July 1999 (link has gone- www.sunmedia.ca/JamWinnipegFringe/rev_crave.html)

A sloppy review of the play, by someone who does not understand notation for stage directions,  Would she have reacted to "four actors who talk like this (hesitatingly)"?

This Sarah Kane play does not involve a linear plot. Or have discernible characters. Instead, it features four actors who. Talk. Like. This. In quick alteration. Sometimes they speak in full sentences. Often. In. Single. Words. Or partial phrases.

The result is a lyrical piece full of imagery of love, loss, longing. And. Other. Profound. Stuff. Sometimes humorous. Also serious.

--- Ken Urban (link has gone- www.botz.com)

When I attended a memorial reading of Crave at New Dramatists after her death, the artistic staff and her fellow playwrights, especially Eduardo Machado and Paul Slee, spoke passionately of Kane’s energy, her relentless humor and her commitment to the art of theatre.

click to go to link Beverly Creasey

Crave is full of wry, sardonic psychiatric observations like You look reasonably happy for someone who's not or sounding like Oscar Wilde The outside world is vastly over-rated. Crave is full of revelations of the psychiatric kind like although she cannot remember, she cannot forget or Kane's pithy description of herself as Emotional plagiarist, stealing other people's pain.

click to go to link British Theatre Guide, 1998 Fringe Reviews 9

It is very tightly written, each speaker being almost like an instrument in a piece of music, each one following its own line but all coming together at climactic points throughout the piece. At times there are "solos", as a character speaks at some length; but much of the time the speech switches from one to the other...This is the first time that Sarah Kane's work has been seen outside of London. It should not be the last!

click to go to link Amanda Greco, Online-Observer, 28 Feb 2002

One could conclude that M represents one person and that A, B and C are the conflicting voices within M's head...

The characters' movements are perhaps the most intriguing part of the show and credit must be given to Hoffmann who, without direction from the playwright, created it all. Bodies merge and separate, collapse and entangle, charge through the audience or cower in corners, as the mood dictates...


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