4.48 Psychosis

The unravelling of the human mind to psychosis and suicide. Valentines Day at the Nottingham Playhouse…


An intensely emotional production of this disturbing yet wonderful play by the
Nottingham Playhouse’s Young Company.

The last ever written by Sarah Kane before her suicide, 4.48 Psychosis explores the mind of the depressed – unveiling themes such as love, violence, sanity, sexuality, death and loss. 4.48 refers to this time in the early morning when Kane herself often woke in her depressed state.

This production at the Nottingham Playhouse was a captivating portrayal of the play that
many have tried to argue was Kane’s own suicide note. Both the actors’ behaviour
and the stage directions effectively ensured that the audience were never allowed
to feel at ease throughout the entirety of the production.

The use of physical theatre and constant movement around the audience maintained a sense of intensity, making the audience feel as if they themselves were being examined, almost like that of a psychiatric patient.

From beginning to end, every single member of the cast remained well and truly in
character, showing that their exploration and research into anxiety and depression
prior to production paid off no end.

Even as you first entered the studio a sense of tension overwhelmed you in the intimate performance space. The cast were sprawled out frantically writing their suicide notes on pieces of paper.

All dressed in white, it became impossible to distinguish the individual, instead they became a faceless victim, further adding to the observers unease between what is real and what is not.

The play breaks down all the complexes of society leaving just the individual,
exposing the pure human self and its tortured and confused mind. Where these
sufferers made visible to us seem to be “drowning in a sea of logic” as Kane herself
felt.

The performance optimises Kane’s centrality to ‘In Yer Face’ theatre in that it is
openly confrontational and purposely fails to provide any kind of reassurance at any
level.

The Tab left the theatre feeling a little drained and scrutinised, but it was more than
worth it. A deeply loaded hour, which stripped bare existence and provoked a series
of unanswered questions. A deeply stirring interpretation of a remarkable play.