Poster and Photo by Kenny B. Gall.

Poster and Photo by Kenny B. Gall.

SEASON 18 | MAY 2006

4:48 Psychosis

By Sarah Kane
Co-Directed by Bonnie Cullum & Lorella Loftus
Presented by Renaissance Austin & The VORTEX

A deeply personal howl of pain, a work ripped not just from its author’s churning brain, but from the core of her being
— Charles Spencer, London

The VORTEX Repertory Company continues to push boundaries with the Texas premiere of 4:48 Psychosis, a terrifying tale of suicide and mental illness. In her brief five-year career, British playwright Sarah Kane progressed from disrupter of the peace to dramatic icon. Kane committed suicide in 1999 at the age of 28. Her final work, 4:48 Psychosis, was first produced nearly a year and a half later and is a stunning piece of theatrical invention, as well as an autobiographical suicide note.

Written shortly before her death, 4:48 Psychosis presents a haunting poetic journey through the mind of a suicide victim. Kane rips open her head and heart to tell the electrifying story that so many people face with depression. bringing a sophisticated minimalism to Kane's text. Influenced by the sparse style of Samuel Beckett, the production focuses on the text and the performers.


Patricia Wappner and Lorella Loftus


Co-Directed by Bonnie Cullum & Lorella Loftus, Set Design by Ann Marie Gordon, Soundscape by Chad Salvata, Poster Photo by Kenny B. Gall.

“She visited places few of us ever know, and, sadly, she did not return.”
— Benedict Nightengale, The London Times


Sarah Kane, often deemed the founder of the British "In-Yer-Face" movement of theatre, was branded a perpetrator of "filth" by the media after the premiere of her first play, Blasted, in the early 1990's. Harold Pinter famously defended her in a note to the British press. Her
body of work (a handful of plays and a short film) has sometimes been labeled "Theatre of Extremes" and is firmly rooted in the theatrical traditions of Beckett, Bond and Pinter. She directed productions of her earlier work, including Blasted, Phaedra's Love, Cleansed, and Crave and had a successful career in theatre right up until her untimely death. Kane's plays have been performed extensively around the world and translated into many languages.

Kane believed "My only responsibility as a writer is to the truth, however unpleasant that truth may be." The VORTEX salutes the truth and explores Kane's brilliance and illness in this production of 4:48 Psychosis.