Review: Blasted | Sarah Kane

This review is spoiler free. 

8872472“You don’t love me. I don’t blame you, I wouldn’t.”

Published: 2011, by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.
Pages: 176
Format: Paperback
Genre: Plays, Drama, Theatre, War, Fiction, Literature, 20th Century, European Literature, British Literature, Contemporary, Academic, School, Classics
Contains: Racism, Homophobia, Death, Blood/Gore, Cannibalism, Violence, Suicide, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Rape, Sexual Content, Sexual Assault

‘Blasted’ tells the story of two people in the midst of civil war. Trapped in a hotel room, Kane explores the raw brutality people inflict on another in a state of desperation as Ian and Cate try to survive.

I know very little about playscripts, having only been exposed to a few prior to university. This one was another I read as part of my assigned reading, currently studying scriptwriting as part of my degree and I was completely disturbed by the contents of this title.

The play is set entirely in a hotel bedroom and we are given no information about why the characters are there. There is also no information about the relationship between Ian and Cate, only being informed of their names, ages and a brief summary of their personalities at the beginning of the script. This made reading this play incredibly difficult and confusing, making the content even more tough to digest.

The play itself is fact-paced, being only around 60 pages in total, while the rest of the book is full of commentary on the themes and other related analysis. However, this makes the play itself more terrifying. The fact it’s told so quickly makes the audience unready for the vulgar content, submitting you to the trauma the characters experience throughout the scenes. This irked me, it seeming as if this story was full of shock value due to the lack of plot and information. We know nothing about this world, having had to do a little research to even understand why the characters couldn’t leave the hotel room, and yet we’re continuously submitted to gore.

Overall, this play was nothing but traumatic. I am not someone who would shy away at the sight of gore or horror, yet when used pointlessly in such a way, it made for a difficult read.



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