Cruel Britannia: Sarah Kane's Postmodern Traumatics by Jolene Armstrong

By Jolene Armstrong

Cruel Britannia: Sarah Kane’s Postmodern Traumatics examines 4 performs via British playwright Sarah Kane (1971-1999), all written among 1995 and 1999 in the context of the «Cool Britannia», or «In-Yer-Face» London theatre move of the Nineties. Kane’s performs have been infamous for his or her surprising productions and difficult and offensive subject material. This e-book analyzes her performs as items of an extended historical past of theatrical conference and experimentation, instead of development. I learn Kane’s performs via an optic of trauma thought, and hyperlink the trauma to postmodern event as outlined via battle, inter-personal violence, repetitive reminiscence, and intercourse as medium of violence. Kane’s performs’ unrelenting violence and image depictions of violent intercourse recommend a dating with theories and practices reminiscent of Artaud’s theatre of cruelty, and Kroker and Cook’s idea of the postmodern as signal of excremental tradition and an inherently abject country of being. via a play through play research I finish that Kane’s paintings means that violence and trauma are endemic to postmodern existence, and are finally apocalyptic as a result of their end result in Kane’s ultimate play, the suicide textual content of 4.48 Psychosis

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Cruel Britannia: Sarah Kane's Postmodern Traumatics

Merciless Britannia: Sarah Kane’s Postmodern Traumatics examines 4 performs through British playwright Sarah Kane (1971-1999), all written among 1995 and 1999 in the context of the «Cool Britannia», or «In-Yer-Face» London theatre circulation of the Nineties. Kane’s performs have been infamous for his or her stunning productions and demanding and offensive subject material.

Extra info for Cruel Britannia: Sarah Kane's Postmodern Traumatics

Example text

What conclusions people draw are not my responsibility – I’m not in control of other people’s minds and I don’t want to be’”(Sierz 104–05). Sierz argues that “Kane deliberately avoids explaining herself to audiences because ‘it relieves them of the effort of working things out for themselves’” (104–05).

In her national referentiality, Kane attempts to prevent her British upper-middle-class audiences’ resistance to “home truths” or, more radically, to prevent theatre from becoming a national inducement to national amnesia. ” (McHale 10). Late twentieth-century concern with ontology is, to my mind, an abiding existential concern that raises questions about the nature and construction of reality, and manifests itself with the realization that being is not rational or logical. The form of the play suggests this pressing existential concern through the rupture in time and action between its first and second half and through the complete disintegration of individual and spatial existence by the end of the play.

Blasted exemplifies my proposition that Kane’s plays present the postmodern condition as an essentially traumatic and traumatized experience. Everything about the play is traumatic, both within the play’s text and as theatre experience: the graphic portrayal of sexual violence; the provocative stance toward its audience; and its display of grotesque and nauseating acts. This play portrays a society that functions within a 47 paradigm of violence and in which sexual violence is endemic. To make sense of the play’s violence and the inherent trauma, one must scrutinize the play’s context and certain problems relating to its postmodernity.

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