Author(s): Sarah Kane
This Student Edition of Sarah Kane's seminal play Blasted features expert and helpful annotation and is an accessible guide for anyone studying or performing the play. This includes a scene-by-scene summary, a detailed commentary on the dramatic, social and political context, and on the themes, characters, language and structure of the play, as well a list of suggested reading, questions for further study and a review of performance history. In 1995 Sarah Kane's first full-length play Blasted sent shockwaves throughout the theatrical world. Making front-page headlines, the play outraged critics with its depiction of rape, torture and violence in civil war. However, from being roundly condemned by the critics ('this disgusting feast of filth' Daily Mail), the play is now considered a seminal work of European theatre and has defined an entire era of stage writing. Blasted's canonical status reflects the raw beauty and terror of Kane's writing. Probing the brutality people inflict upon one another, the suffering and violation, the play also looks at the role of love and the redemption it offers. Unafraid to delve into darkness, this is a provocative, fragmenting piece full of significance and power.
A Student Edition featuring a plot synopsis, a commentary on the dramatic, social and political context, and on the themes, characters, language and structure of the play Questions for further study, notes on the words and phrases in the text and a further reading list all assist students and teachers of the play 'Kane was a dramatist original enough to communicate ultimate emotions with a strange beauty as well as with a frightening bluntness.' The Times
'Sarah Kane's first play was hugely controversial when staged at the Royal Court in 1995 and, if the intervening years have diminished its shock value a little, it remains a deeply divisive piece about the reality of violence, a sensory onslaught will prompt walkouts but also inspire epiphanies.' Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard (London), 29.10.10 'Blasted is undoubtedly a landmark of modern theatre, its moral force at once uncanny and explosive.' Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard (London), 29.10.10 'Kane's play is wild, but artful too.' Susannah Clapp, Observer, 31.10.10 'this is a play of exceptional power and prescience.' Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, 1.11.10 'now rightly regarded as a milestone in British theatre.' Paul Callan, Daily Express, 5.11.10
Sarah Kane was born in 1971. Her work includes the plays Blasted, Phaedra's Love, Cleansed, 4.48 Psychosis and the short film Skin. Sarah Kane died in 1999, aged 28, and is now recognised as one of the most influential voices in modern European theatre. Ken Urban is a playwright and director, and currently teaches theatre and playwrighting at Harvard University.