images for links
Guardian, 20 September 1999
Psychosis: The play, drawn from Goethe's novel
The Sorrows of Young Werther, about a young man
who kills himself because of unrequited love,
culminates in a young woman committing suicide
Blasted: Edward Bond, whose 1965 play
Saved stirred a similar storm, defended Kane from
the outset. "Blasted comes from the centre
of our humanity and our ancient need for theatre.
That's what gives it its strange, almost
Cleansed: There is an enormous amount
of depression in the play because I felt an
enormous amount of despair when writing it,"
Even amid the eye-gouging, castration and
dismemberment of the latter play, there were
moments of beauty and even black humour provided
by a choir of singing rats.
Crave: A poem for four voices, styled
as two parallel conversations, it drew on T.S.
Eliot's The Wasteland and the Bible.
inkpot (link has
Love. 'Phaedra's Love' (1996), a re-working of
the Greek myth of Phaedra's love for her stepson
Hippolytus, was an unabashed reference to the
British Royal Family and the political situation
of that time. Performed to an audience largely
ignorant of the political implications,
'Phaedra's Love' lost its original sting, making
the focus of Kane's play the depraved,
It seemed like a pairing of A & C and B &
M but one could never really be sure with the
dialogues, or rather, monologues made up of
poetic fragments and recurring motifs.
||Peter Lathan, The
British Theatre Guide, 7 March 1999
short life was in some respects as troubled as
her professional career. Having embraced her
parents' born-again Christianity in her teens,
she then rejected it but was haunted by the
violence and cruelty of many stories from the
Bible. She had a breakdown in late 1997 and was
hospitalised, so that her suicide, although
shocking and very sad, was not something that was
totally out of character.
Unger, Megalomaniac Prod
Kane the expression of utmost violence
has always been the right frame for the
representation of extreme love. For her,
both was linked together inseparably:
only in the barren landscape of violence
and hate love gets the importance it
deserves. It cost Kane a lot to write
Cleansed, in an interview she said:
'There is an enormous amount of
depression in the play because I felt an
enormous amount of despair when writing
Kane herself saw her plays as manifestos about
the possibilities and catastrophes of love. She
was surprised that the plays that she considered
to be about hope (Blasted), faith (Phaedra's
Love) and love (Cleansed) seemed to have
depressed everyone else, while Crave was seen as
||Vincent O'Connell ,
Guardian, 25 Feb 1999
met Sarah Kane when she was a 17 year-old actress
with Basildon Youth Theatre. She performed a play
I had written wearing a neck brace - she had been
in a car crash the night before the first
What also brought her to my attention was that
she was simultaneously directing a Chekhov play
at her school. At Bristol University she directed
a number of startling and vivid productions -
Macbeth and Top Girls stand out, as well as the
best production I had seen of my own stage work.
One night in Bristol she shyly showed me her
first dramatic monologue: a brutal, beautifully
written exposition of sexual violence. At 19, her
work reminded me of Beckett.
We produced our short plays together, two years
on the trot in Edinburgh -and the fringe
performed its true function in accelerating
exponentially the applied talent of a unique
theatrical voice. She left me standing.
||Michael Billington, Guardian,
13 Oct 2005
Woyzeck for me remains Sarah Kane's 1997 Gate
production which skilfully mixed realism and
||Lyn Gardner, Guardian,
23 Feb 1999
While the tabloids
tried to hunt her down, she spent her nights
quietly watching her play at the Royal Court, a
pale, thin, anonymous girl.
Ironically, Kane knew the territory
well; she was a daughter of a Mirror journalist.
For a short time in her teens, she and her family
became fervent born-again Christians. Later, she
rejected religion, but the violent, apocalyptic,
biblical imagery remained a feature of her work.
In Cleansed, the second of her plays that I
directed, her piece de resistance was perhaps the
family of rats which appeared on stage in a late
draft of the play. Apparently they were inspired
by finding a dead rat in the cutlery drawer of
The Times, 3 Apr 2001 (Link has gone)
Orton was 34 and much more established
when his head was battered in by his lover in
1967; but he had still to revise what many regard
as his masterpiece, What the Butler Saw.
His career, too, was in its early stages. His
reputation, too, was not yet solid.
This meant that for a long time nobody
could write about Ortons work without
bringing his fate into the argument. Some went so
far as to say that there was an awful logic in
the savage death of a writer who had taken
scandalous glee in questioning all values and
flouting all taboos
Guardian Unlimited, 28 Feb 1999
wasn't just promising, she delivered- a brave,
angry, poetic body of work quite unlike anything
Guardian, 12 May 1999
was such a fantastic person to have around. We'd
sit in my office and just talk for hours. She was
somebody who was constantly feeding her mind.
Guardian, 1 July 2000
Mel Kenyon stood up to give a little speech at
Sarah Kane's memorial, the words wouldn't come.
She tried two or three times, before being
defeated by her tears.
Guardian, 1 July 2000 (part 2)
was a very startling and tender voice, but she
was appalled by the world in which she lived and
the world within herself.
||Edward Bond, Guardian, 16 Dec
[Blasted:] When Sarah Kane's
Blasted was staged, the critics attacked it with
the panicky rage which is the sign that finally
they are writing about something profoundly
important. The only contemporary play I wish I'd
written, it is revolutionary.
4.48 is a great play: bitterly comic,
full of a desire for life. It is also the
document of our time.
Guardian, 12 Jan 2000
She was a poet. The fact that Kane's and her
contemporaries' work is chiefly remembered for
its loud-mouthed aggression may have something to
do with a wider, tabloid-titillating movement in
the visual arts.
Telegraph, 23 Sept 1999
want answers to why she was not properly
cared for. And I want those answers in
order that this doesn't happen to someone
Guardian, 11 Jul 2000
wrote about the needy, the dispossessed,
the ones in pain: Blasted, which was
about Bosnia, showed her compassion, her
desire to ease pain.
She was my only daughter and
she could have had such a very full life.
But Sarah crammed more into her 28 years
- more feeling, more passion, more living
- than most do in three score and 10. As
her father I am very, very proud of that.
||Roger Barking, Bishop
of Barking, Guardian, 8 Jul 2000
will be eternally grateful to Sarah for
challenging my own faith.
Guardian, 25 Feb 1999
Kane possessed the seeds of greatness, but did
not live to reap them. She never found the
'truth' either, mental illness saw to that too.
||Jenni Murray, Guardian, 13
In the two years before
her death Miss Kane had been in and out of mental
health care and had been prescribed a range of
||Support, including by
e-mail, for people who are depressed or feeling
||I don't think she was
depressed, I think it was deeper than that. I
think she felt something more like existential
despair which is what makes many artists tick
(first link has gone- infoculture.cbc.ca)
theatre is the kind of theatre which grabs the
audience by the scruff of the neck and shakes it
until it gets the message.
you ever realise how beautiful you were?
Ever realise that you were loved?
are a band, and one of their songs is Crave,
a spoken word piece inspired by Sarah Kane. It
has been recorded and DīJarra are waiting a
record deal. When its available Iīll include it
on Hot News.
|A play about the
brilliant young British playwright Sarah
Kane who committed suicide at the age of
28. Written by Adam Cass, The Anniversary
Of The Death Of Sarah Kane explores
Kane's life and death, drawing
information from a range of peculiar
tribute websites that have sprung up
since her death.
||Hung be the Heavens with
Yield Day to Night!
||She had just
been working on an adaptation of
Goethes Young Werther, where
the love-stricken hero, failing to
achieve the object of his desires, kills
In her teens she lived a very intense
form of Christianity, strongly Biblically based,
within the context of her family. "The
reading I did in my formative years was the
Bible, which is incredibly violent, full of rape,
mutilation, war and pestilence." What is
more, it is God who seems to sanction or indeed
instigate all these horrors in the Biblical