Sarah Kane

2 December, 2011

Fuck I love that woman. She was a young playwriter and sort of connected to IN-YER-FACE Theatre. She died like a rock star and wrote like a bleeding genius. I keep returning to her writing over and over again. She makes me laugh, she freaks me out, her words haunts me. She is not liked by my flatmates who hates Saved. She was one angry woman and for that we love her. It’s drama that tuches all parts of your body.

I am reading Crave at the moment which is avalible here.

Oh and talking about fabolous women. Found a letter of Marilyn Monroe online. Ever since reading Joyce Carol Oates Blonde (<3 <3) I have been quite a fan of that woman. The new film My Week with Marilyn seems rather fantastic.

 

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I’ve been saved

8 November, 2011

Oh I forgot to tell you about Saved! How could I forget to write about something so amazing and breathtaking as that play? I had tremendously big hopes for the new production of the 1965 play by Edward Bond which I wrote about earlier. Usually I end up being disappointed by such an occasion when I hyped up a thing. Not this time. It wasn’t as brilliant as Hamlet on The National Theatre in May but damn it was close. Why? The play is beautifully written in the way that its got a clear dramatic drive. The characters are well written and you can sort of understand where they come from and why they act like they do. The pace of the play was perfect, especially in the painful scenes involving the neglect and killing of the baby. I was slightly scared of the moment those scenes would turn up. Would I be able to take it? Would I be affected by it? Yes I was. It was cringe worthy to say the least seeing the scene when all the characters, who are supposed to be the family of the baby, ignores it completely. They also call the baby it, not by name or sex, just it. (I cannot remember the sex of the child, therefore it’s it here as well) The scene were they kill the child had also an amazing a brutal rhythm. It went from slow-paced to fast violence, they raised the pace all the way through which made it even more horrible to watch.

Was it necessary then, the violence I have written about earlier? I think I have to say that here it was necessary. I don’t think you can get the sam effect or be able to make a clear comment on these people’s lives without those scenes. That the young girl that is the mother of the child completely ignores it and then wants everyone to pity her after it’s been killed wouldn’t come across as so painfully ironic. It was horrible to watch and I heard a girl cry in the audience. The play was also, weirdly enough, very funny. It is witty. The actors had some true comedy talent in the way they moved around one another. Not to deny that it was pretty dark humored (the best in my opinion) but it was funny. The humour balanced the darkness nicely.The fact that we had managed to book tickets on the night a couple of school classes sort of helped to get the atmosphere. The kids reacted strongly to everything on stage by laughing, crying (girl during pram scene) and ohhh-ing.

It’s unfortunately not running anymore. I do recommend you to see it if you ever get a chance.

I’ve
been discussing provocation and violence within art a lot these latest couple
of days. An old topic I know, it keeps coming back as a topic in media though.
I will come to the reason further down the line but first some general ideas on
the subject.

It is not much that schocks us anymore when it comes to violence or sex on
film/theatre/media. Or at least we’d like to think that is the case. What does
an artist need to do these days to really provoke? Religion is still up there
(thinking about the Danish cartoons of the muslim prophet for
example) as is sex and violence. The normal subjects that is. I find it
interesting to see how it has changed within these areas when it comes to what
is provoking. I saw a mother slapping her child in the tube the other day. Me
and my friend found it very disturbing. That kind of behaviour would have seen
as natural just a couple of decades ago. Lewis Carroll’s friendship and
photographs of the young girl Alice is in these modern times seen as weird.
Then it was not something that people would react to in the way we do now.
Children and our relationship with them seem like a sensitive subject. Why? Who
is a child? What is our responsibility towards it? What happens when you mix
children and sexuality or violence for that matter?

The reason why all this has come up lately is that I am going to see Saved by Edward
Bond on the Lyric Hammersmith this week. The play was first staged in 1965 and
became very famous or infamous for a certain scene with a pram. Its set in
London during the 1960’s and describes the empty lives of a group of young working
class people living on an estate. What happens is that the group of young men
it centers on kills a baby in a pram by stoning it to death. Edward Bond called
it “almost irresponsibly optimistic” when it was first staged privately at the
Royal Court Theatre. It was hugely important as it helped with the removal of
theatre censorship and all that but what about the baby? Is it ok to stone a
baby on stage? I don’t know. I have just read the play which is a complete
different thing to seeing it be performed on a stage. I’ll get back to you when
I’ve seen it.

I guess violence as a symbol for something else is ok which is how it is used in
Saved. It shows more than anything how trapped these men are. Is it necessary though?
My friend J thinks it’s not. That one could say the same thing without using
extreme violence against a child in a play. I find it provoking. I find that it
could be done in an interesting way and therefore say something you couldn’t
get through in another way.

Is the provocation worth it? Can art go too far? If you look at Lars Vilks you’ll
find an example of going too far in my book. He uses provocation just for the
sake of provocation itself. He doesn’t really have a message. His art is not
really thought through. It was just a badly put together idea which just pissed
people off.

 I find that if one is to use extreme violence
or sex or religion one has to know what exactly you’re up to. What it can mean
to other people. I’ll try to have that in mind when I go to the theatre on Thursday.
Whish me luck.

(Yes
I did indeed switch language on this blog. Might write in Swedish again if I
come up with an idea which only relates to Sweden. Will have a little
tyranslation to go along with it though. Find it more logical to write in
English now as I live in this country after all.)