October 14, 2012

Blasted (Brief)

October 9, 2012

by Sarah Kane
State Theatre Company
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
October 8. Tickets $ 25 – $ 35
Bookings : BASS 131 246
Until October 13.

It is seventeen years since the twenty-something playwright, Sarah Kane detonated her play Blasted at London’s Royal Court Theatre. It caused an uproar then, and still disturbs and confronts even internet-jaded audiences now.

Director Netta Yashchin has a challenge with this unruly, iconoclastic text but with Wendy Todd’s increasingly ruined décor, Mark Pennington’s blitzkrieg lighting and Stuart Day’s haunting soundscape, the bell tolls for each of the play’s defeated characters. Ian and Cate (the excellent Patrick Graham and Anni Lindner) book into a Leeds hotel for a night of listless depravity. Then things escalate when the Soldier (Mark Saturno), in full combat kit, literally brings a war into the room.

Blasted is a serious study of the ubiquity of cruelty and violence but, philosophically and emotionally, it has a narrow focus. Sarah Kane’s plays are now described as part of the 90s “In-Yer-Face” theatre movement, but the pervading pessimism in Blasted is more like in yer worst nightmare.

Murray Bramwell

Out and About, The Australian, October 10, 2012, p.16.

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