4:48 Psychosis

This was not my evening. After a nightmare at the day job, I cycled the length of Brighton (and Hove) against a hurricane, repaid the hospitality of my hosts by knocking over my complimentary glass of wine, and had a couple of girls next to me giggling helplessly from the start of a show which has previously been called a 75-minute suicide note.If you don’t know this piece, it was Sarah Kane’s last play, written from the point of view of a clinical depressive in therapy and contemplating suicide - which she was - and did - in 1999. It has no characters, no staging guidelines, so anybody attempting it has the joy – or problem – of deciding it all for themselves. Studio B decided on a large ensemble cast of 18, an ambitious undertaking in this small (but perfectly-formed) venue.Such a large cast gave lots of scope to show different aspects of the work with varied techniques and combinations of actors. This was achieved in several ways, just two examples being the repeated multiple-dyad scenes portraying the serial and repetitive nature of therapy, and the constant comings-and-goings and congested shufflings illustrating the chaotic nature of such a troubled mind.Thankfully, the gigglers did the decent thing and left halfway through. What they were so amused by was a moving ‘transition screen’. Unfortunately, it wasn’t working smoothly, and drew too much attention to itself and away from the piece. That was the only technical flaw, though, and the team have done a great job of presenting such a challenging production in this size venue.And the venue deserves a special mention of its own. Dermot Keaney and Victoria Gould have done a superb job in what is basically a tent in a pub garden. I’ve been there three times, and every time Dermot was tirelessly beavering away to get everything just right for the performance. On two of these times it was pretty windy, but he somehow managed to keep it out, and also found time to be a genial host. I shall return.

Reviews by Tim Earl

A Fistful of Snow

★★★★★

Bane

★★★★★

Oedipus

★★

4:48 Psychosis

★★★

The Silents

★★★★

The Blurb

A masterpiece of mental and emotional extremity. An act of artistic heroism. This production of Sarah Kane's play features a large ensemble cast.