Author Topic: 4.48 Psychosis in depth  (Read 9590 times)

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Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: 4.48 Psychosis in depth
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2011, 06:13:02 PM »
and another review: Anthony Byrnes KCRW, 9 Aug 2011.  Thefull review is here:
www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/ab/ab110809a_dark_night_of_the_?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kcrw%2Fab+(Opening+the+Curtain)

The article is quite thoughtful:

"...Like Georg Büchner's grueling Woyzeck or Heiner Müller's Hamletmachine, 4.48 Psychosis presents a puzzle that directors are seduced to solve. In the process, their productions tell you as much about the director as the play.
 
...What makes Sarah Kane's play so ripe for interpretation is that it lacks many of the formal characteristics of a play. There are no characters, no setting, and only one stage direction: silence presented in three flavors: (silence), (a long silence), and (a very long silence). The play reads like a poem and demands that a director create a script from its fragments.
 
"...City Garage is a company known for their physical work, so it's no surprise that director Michel injects the silence of the piece with absurdist, syncopated movement that feels like a choreography of nervous ticks set to an infectiously hip score. We see our heroine break into a jerky, joyous dance that reveals a glimpse of the happiness that might have once filled her life: a welcome moment of hope against a bleak descent into misery."
 
"Ultimately, the challenge of the play is bringing a suicidal despair to life for an audience, and here the production falls short. Remember the only stage direction: silence? Michel fills some of the play's crucial silences with the sounds of the patient's heart beating. It's clever but it undermines the raw strength of Sarah Kane's words. Words that the playwright wrote shortly before taking her own life."
 
"..Perhaps, the most difficult thing about the play is there is that there's no redemption, no ray of hope. You want to believe in the redemptive power of art...."
 
 

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: 4.48 Psychosis in depth
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2011, 05:41:31 PM »
Another review, by Steven Leigh Morris in LA Weekly.  The full review is here
http://blogs.laweekly.com/stylecouncil/2011/08/stage_raw_sarah_kanes_448_psyc.php


"...A clearly unstable young woman (Cynthia Mance) sits center stage, bracketed by two figures in chairs behind her and another figure, a seemingly severed head in a bird cage -- all of whom mutter abrasive vituperations at the hapless girl. There is also a pair of other performers who portray the doctors attempting to treat her - even though they offer only the coldest comfort to the angst-ridden heroine -- offering utterances like "I know nothing of you, but I like you!" Frederique Michel's harrowing and edgy production, replete with eerie sound effects and dialogue interspersed with characters suddenly lurching into rhythmic spasms and twitching, hauntingly captures the state of mind of someone with tunnelvision perception in which all thoughts, excuses, and opinions inevitably lead to one ultimate act self-negation. Designer Charles Duncombe's sterile hospital room-like set and the eerie, percussive sound effects suggest the heroine's matter-of-fact view of her own madness and feelings of emptiness. The production delivers a disturbing and striking theatrical experience."
« Last Edit: September 04, 2011, 05:51:01 PM by Iain Fisher »

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: 4.48 Psychosis in depth
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2011, 05:34:53 PM »
Don Shirley's review of the Santa Monica 4.48 Psychosis.  The review is dated 22 Aug 2011 and the full text is here
www.lastagetimes.com/2011/08/end-days-of-our-lives-and-psychosis-with-a-beat/
It isn't particularly insightful.

"...Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis... plays like Kane’s invitation to join her down in the dumps — the very deep dumps. As you may have heard, it was written prior to the playwright’s own suicide, and it’s essentially a roughshod chronicle of  the descent of a young woman to the moment when she finally does the deed.
 
As chronicles go, it’s rather incomplete. We hear virtually nothing about her world prior to the onset of mental illness, what the first symptoms were, who else was in her life, how she tried to manage her affairs outside the doctors’ offices and drugstores, or anything else that might distract us from the sheer agony of her existence and her sometimes barely-accessible ways of expressing it."
 
"... Large parts of it are fairly inscrutable. If Kane intended to give us a glimpse of what she was thinking, at times it’s none too clear."
 
"Director Frédérique Michel , at City Garage, divided the script into six characters identified as “She” (Cynthia Mance), Brains #1-#3, “Psychologist” and “Nurse Head” – you might say they’re six characters in search of an author (or an editor). None of them exists independently outside “the deranged brain” (the description of the setting) of the suicidal “She.”
 
Perhaps in an attempt to make the production livelier, Michel also inserts a lot of rhythmic movement... While I’m grateful for any attempts to make the action move a little more briskly, I don’t see how these particular movements make much sense, thematically...."

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: 4.48 Psychosis in depth
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2011, 09:48:21 AM »
A review by by Ian Hamilton of the Craft Theatre Company production of 4.48 Psychosis.

"...The stage is filled with eleven young people in various versions of evening wear standing in sombre silence.  Suddendly there is an outbreak of manic activity.  Fragmented messages are intoned one after the other – ‘but you have friends’ – and there is chaos as papers are scattered randomly on the floor, then picked up.  The collective despair and self-loathing soon become apparent – the pain and hopelessness of a line such as ‘I used to be able to cry, now I’m beyond tears’ resonates powerfully, as does the repeated self-loathing of ‘I am a complete failure as a person’.  This is bleak stuff.  The collective persona wonders why when everyone else is smiling, they still want to die."
 
"...Craft Theatre’s approach is highly imaginative and distinctive, with a strong emphasis on dance and movement.  The group often moves as one, with various characters reciting a line at a time, sometimes chorally, but there are also effective parings– 2 girls perform a dance which looks at the beginning like puppetry, then they are a mirror image of each other..."

"Oddly there is humour here.  ‘I’m sick of the fans that follow me around’ complains one voice.  It is odd for someone about to die to be arguing about the difference between metaphor and simile, odder still to be asked ‘have you made any plans?’  One is warned that nothing will interfere with their work like suicide..."
 
"...There are flaws in the performances – some of the delivery is a little too quiet and one of the characters despairing about believing in God, for example does so with a good deal more conviction than the other.  There are inconsistencies, with the same character performing very engagingly in one scene, less so in the next.  But this is a young group taking on a very ambitious project with tremendous energy and effectively conveying the utter despair running through the piece while emphasising the poetry.  It is harrowing and unsettling, but I recommend this performance for its energy and movement and its ability to convey the pain and complexities of a self-loathing and despairing mindset."
 
The full review is here:
www.fringereview.co.uk/fringeReview/4086.html

Aimee Hainsworth

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Re: 4.48 Psychosis in depth
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2008, 02:04:31 PM »
HI , i am currently preparing a production of 4.48 psychosis for my A level Theatre exam in march. I have looked up history on Sarah Kane and read the play loads of times ,however i am struggling with ideas of how to perform certain parts of the play and making sure my audience receives the right idea. :-[ My main worries are how do i perform 4.48 psychosis with out just lying in a hospital bed. Whilst reading the play i had ideas of how i would perform certain areas but the all include lying down or sitting up on a hospital bed! :(
Is there any chance you could help with any ideas you may have.
Thank you
x x x x x x :D

Offline Iain Fisher

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4.48 Psychosis in depth
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2007, 09:08:13 AM »
There is a new thesis about 4.48 Psychosis available on the site.

It is called "A Controlled Detonation: The Protean Voice of 4:48 Psychosis (first seven fragments)" and is by Mustafa Sakarya.

You can read it here www.iainfisher.com/kane/eng/sarah-kane-study-ms.html

Iain