Sunday, November 20, 2005

Help! Help!

Tonight I saw the very scary pre-crack-up and suicide Sarah Kane drama "4:48 Psychosis," as staged by the very good and very hard-core troupe "The Hypocrites." As I understand it, the text of the play is basically a poem, giving Sean Graney ultimate freedom in creating characters, settings, etc. etc. He has used this freedom to freak me way the heck out, putting the action on and around three separate raised platforms, like art installations. There are no seats-- the audience mills about, moving with the focus, so you're never able to fully avoid the terrifying, terrifying actors. And it's all in a tent. From the moment I walked in, I was panicking, because I knew these people were literally trapping me inside the mind of a suicidally depressed woman.

Now, I'm suggestible, and as a defense mechanism, I find it hard to fully relax in hypnotic situations. I have trouble giving over my mind to my yoga teacher, and she just chants things like "I am.... fully alive." So forget this play. Five minutes in, I had an interior conversation that went like this:

- Let's go. Let's get away from here and these crazy dead-baby women.
- No! We have to stay and review this show. We are getting paid.
-You're referring to yourself in plural already.
-We're going to be totally fine, and we can't go.
-Ok, but I'm going to take half your brain, and go over here, and babble about inane trivia for the rest of the show to prevent you getting too involved, ok?
-Don't you think that actress looks suspiciously like that girl you went to high school with?

And so on. My brain kept up the fully formed, rapid fire sentences until the thing was mercifully over. Backpedaling frantically to keep me from going into the upsetting pit that is Sarah Kane's head. I still got out of there feeling distinctly shaky.

One hour performance. Two hours recovery time. What a show.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We refer to ourselves in the plural quite a bit too.


3:57 PM  
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