1st Edition

Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis

By Glenn D'Cruz Copyright 2018
    100 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    100 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    "Everything passes/Everything perishes/Everything palls" – 4.48 Psychosis

    How on earth do you award aesthetic points to a 75-minute suicide note? The question comes from a review of 4.48 Psychosis’ inaugural production, the year after Sarah Kane took her own life, but this book explores the ways in which it misses the point. Kane’s final play is much more than a bizarre farewell to mortality. It’s a work best understood by approaching it first and foremost as theatre – as a singular component in a theatrical assemblage of bodies, voices, light and energy. The play finds an unexpectedly close fit in the established traditions of modern drama and the practices of postdramatic theatre.

    Glenn D’Cruz explores this theatrical angle through a number of exemplary professional and student productions with a focus on the staging of the play by the Belarus Free Theatre (2005) and Melbourne’s Red Stitch Theatre (2007).

    List of figures


    Chapter 1: Contextualising 4.48 Psychosis: 'Everybody loves a dead girl' – Sarah Kane as innovator and icon

    Chapter 2: Reading 4.48 Psychosis: The flaw in love (and psychiatry)

    Chapter 3: Theorising 4.48 Psychosis: 4.48 Psychosis as postdramatic theatre

    Chapter 4: Teaching 4.48 Psychosis: Performance and pedagogy

    Chapter 5: Performing 4.48 Psychosis: From Minsk to Melbourne

    Chapter 6: Conclusion


    Glenn D’Cruz teaches Drama and Cultural Studies at Deakin University, Australia.

    "D’Cruz offers a compelling argument for the theatrical possibilities of the play, its place in the field of postdramatic theatre, and its ability to resonate with audiences twenty years after its first performance. Succinct and engaging, this short book [...] is a useful source for educators teaching Kane’s work, or theatre practitioners bravely considering the challenge of producing it."

    Sarah Peters, Flinders University, Australia, in Australasian Drama Studies