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Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 6-Sat 30 Mar

Any play about a young woman who has been left abruptly by her lover, and seeks an explanation for this sudden emotional trauma looks like a very human work. After all, the situation described is one most of us can understand and empathise with. But this is not how Sarah Kane’s Blasted has been perceived. Instead, the very mention of a title recognised by folk who have never even been to the theatre brings visions of sexual violence, cannibalism

and defecation on stage.

Given the enormous stir of publicity that surrounded Sarah Kane’s Royal Court debut seven years ago, it’s truly remarkable that the piece has never been given a full-scale performance in Scotland. But perhaps there’s an explanation. Three years after her suicide at 28, the theatre world seems to still be coming to

terms with the spartan lyricism of her work. Its first appearance in 1995 brought theatre to

the front pages of newspapers, creating a general sense of moral indignation which buried most of the play’s meaning under hysterical chatter about its imagery and bleak thematics. Perhaps Kenny Miller’s production at the Citizens’ will cut through all this and find a quieter emotional centre to the piece.

The story of Cate, an insecure young girl who seeks out her former boyfriend Ian, 3 spiritually and morally impoverished tabloid journalist holing up in a Leeds hotel room is actually very much about emotional interaction. The fact that it takes place in the middle of a civil war, and that the room is invaded by a soldier who escalates



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an already violent atmosphere makes the play’s political metaphor a complex and frightening one. But Kenny Miller insists that the play is ultimately about emotional dynamics.

‘If you take out all the “disgusting” sexual acts, as they were called at the time, this is a fantastic of theatre. Miller’s design has tightened the play in its own right,’ he says. ‘You need to concentrate on the relationships that go on between the characters. If you do, you see the play with a fresh pair of eyes.’

‘Of course we haven’t omitted all the violence glee. Won’t this provoke walkouts, given some of and sex that goes on, but it’s not what we’ve concentrated on. We haven‘t been saying: “Oh you‘ve got to be in this position when you do this missing a very moving story. (Steve Cramer)

‘A fresh pair of eyes’

to him’” because the important thing is the characters. There’s so much more to the emotional journey that a character like Cate goes on in the play.’

All the same, it promises to be an uneasy night

already cramped space of the Citz circle studio making it all very up close and personal. ‘The audience will never be more than a metre away from the actors,’ he says, with an almost puckish

the events? ‘I can’t afford to worry about that. If people want to leave it’s up to them.’ They’ll be

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