Friday, November 16, 2012

CYTC: 4:48 Psychosis

Wow, am I behind. For various reasons I haven't finished reviewing anything I've seen for the last two weeks, and that's a bit of a backlog. There are at least five reviews on their way, but in most cases it's too late to make any difference, so in the meantime I'd like to draw your attention to something there is still time for you to see. (Not me, though, unfortunately - I'm away).

I've mentioned before that I'm a little afraid of the work of Sarah Kane, but there are two of her plays on my "to see" list, and one of them is 4:48 Psychosis, which Canberra Youth Theatre Company is staging at the Courtyard until 21 November, directed by Karla Conway.

This is a brave choice for a youth theatre company, dealing as it does with suicide - although this is not a company of children, but young adults.  And in fact the play does more than "deal" with suicide - it's widely regarded as Kane's suicide note.  It's named for the time in the morning when she most often woke despairing, and she took her own life three days before the premiere. So this is no confected, empathised, fictional take on suicide; this is the real deal, a play once described by Ben Brantley in the New York Times  as "charged with the raging verbal energy of someone trying to make sense of a situation long beyond the reach of rational thought".

I think this will be very tough viewing, but if well done, also very valuable, and I'm impressed that CTYC is taking it on.  If anyone reading this does get along, let me know what you thought.

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