The Extreme Scene

What happens when you go beyond the envelope’s edge?

Every night the audience is plunged into a hellscape where love, sex, and torture are so tightly intertwined that death is the only hope. Every character is forced to the limit of human endurance.

“Death isn’t the worst thing they can do to you,” says one of the victims. “They can take away your life but not give you death instead.”

Some of our heroes beg to be put out of their misery. One guy chooses to hang himself with the stockings he has been forced to wear.

The playwright, Sarah Kane, took her own life a year after the play made its debut at the Royal Court in 1998. She was only 28 years old, but her six plays were credited with starting the “in-yer-face” movement, which reinvigorated the British theater.

This is the first time her work has been staged at the National Theatre, and mainstream audiences and the critics have struggled with the stomach-churning nihilism.

Today’s audience reactions might be better than riots, although it does make past controversies seem tame by comparison. To each their own…


About westvirginiarebel

I enjoy blogging and writing in general.
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