Cleansed by late playwright Sarah Kane at Elverket, Dramaten

You know what it's like; how every party you were an inch away from attending but for whatever reason didn't in the end, turned out to be the best bash of the year or how everything comes across as better and more fun back home when you're not actually around yourself. It seems what fate has in store for yours truly. Ever since I saw Sarah Kane's controversial play Blasted (Bombad) at the Royal Dramatic Theatre (Elverket) in Stockholm 3 years ago I've been much eagerly anticipating and hoping for the chance to see yet another one of her great plays being picked up by the theatres in Stockholm.

Blasted is
 such a fierce piece of work and despite the ostensible "impossibility" of staging it due to its graphic violence (there's pivotal scenes of brutal rape, male sodomy, a man's eye being sucked out and a dying newborn baby being eaten on), it was aptly executed by Elverket's Creative Director Stefan Larsson. Taking on roles in a play by Kane surely proves a challenge for any skilled actor and with Blasted Noomi Rapace and David Dencik put out fine perfomances in the prinicpal roles. The press more or less unamiously hailed against Kane upon her debut at the Royal Court Theatre's Upstairs in London in 1995, classifying her writing as filth and unjustifiedly obscene and yet Kane was very educated, both drawing inspiration from and referencing Greek mythology, Shakespeare and the Bible, as well as late and living peers such as Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter. Notably, the latter came to her defense when the British press launched its attack, many members of which were later to recognize her work and her status as an important playwright after her death in February 1999.

was written in the early 90's amdist the reportings of the brutalities of the war on Balcan and has to be viewed in that light. Kane's intentions was supposedly to shock her audience into an awareness of the "emotional continuum between domestic brutality and the rape camps of Bosnia". Kane notoriously committed suicide at age 28 by hanging herself, after a failed attempt swallowing 150 anti-depressants and 50 sleeping pills. She left behind a body of work consisting of five plays including Blasted, Cleansed, Crave, 4.48 Psychosis and Phaedra's Love (a modern take on Racine's Phèdre). Kane herself believed that if theatre could change the lives of people, then theatre in turn could change society as we are all apart of it.

Having already missed Kane's Cleansed (Befriad) starring Torkel Petersson at Elverket six years ago, though it was before ever knowing of her, it kills to have to miss out on her Crave (Törst) being played at the Royal Dramatic Theatre this upcoming theatre season, which seems very promising. Tickets are currently on sale and the premiere is due September 17. As a sidenote the stage version of Bergman's fantastic Autmun Sonata  and Scenes From a Marriage will also see daylight next season...Kill myself already, why don't I?! So unfair.



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