Sixth Form Drama students from Newton Abbot College captivated audiences recently with their challenging and emotive portrayal of ‘4.48 Psychosis’ by late playwright, Sarah Kane.
As part of an examination performance that included the acclaimed piece, A Level students Lukas Beringer, Caitlin Johnston and Joseph Ryder also performed monologue pieces ranging from the highly dramatic opening scene from ‘5 Kinds of Silence’ by Shelagh Stephenson, through to the comedic, pathos-inducing excerpt from ‘Harry’s Christmas’ by Steven Berkoff.
The second half of the evening was dedicated to ‘4.48 Psychosis’; the last play written by Sarah Kane before taking her own life in 1999. The play’s challenging themes of mental illness, suicide, self-harm and despair were presented by Johnston as the central ‘voice’ of the piece, with Ryder and Beringer as the aggressive and delusional sides of the human psyche. The stark staging, omnipresent noose, innovative use of moveable doorframes to represent the ins and outs of the human mind and powerful performances, ensured an emotive and, at times, shocking delivery from the student trio.
Performer, Joe Ryder, said of the piece “Our aim with Kane’s material was to create a dynamic, fast-paced performance that highlights the struggles of living with poor mental health and to explore difficult subjects such as suicide. We wanted the audience to experience a range of emotions throughout the performance, culminating in a genuine sense of shock, loss and pathos as the main character ends her life.”