Sarah Kane's disturbing, poetic play gets a searing revival
CRAVE by Sarah Kane (Crave Collective). At the Tarragon Extraspace. July 10 at 4:30 pm, July 11 at 6 pm, July 13 at 9:30 pm, July 15 at 7:45 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN
This searing revival of controversial 1990s British playwright Sarah Kane’s most poetic and least-plot-driven play aptly captures the pain, frustration and despair that framed her short life.
Director Katy Murphy has Kane’s four characters (understood to be four parts of a fragmented psyche) perform symbolic group movements – compulsively pacing the stage and trading denim streetwear – that mirror the ebb and flow of the free-wheeling and disturbing text.
Unlike Kane’s other plays like Blasted and Cleansed, Crave doesn’t depict horrific acts, but the babbling characters endlessly obsess over extremes of sex, violence, relationships and death. (Take the content warnings seriously.)
One standout moment, a long stream-of-consciousness-style monologue itemizing aspects of a standard modern courtship performed by Wayne Burns, is very unsettling in how accurate yet bleak it is.
Strong performances from the ensemble, which also includes Liz Der, Breanna Maloney and Laura Meadows, builds the nightmarish action to a climax that resonates long after the lights dim.