Blasted has been labelled as one of the landmark plays of post-war British theatre, achieving its iconic status and, indeed, its notoriety, very quickly. Sarah Kane's suicide in 1999 consolidated a process of singling-out that had begun four years earlier with the 'national outrage' initiated by the media's scandalised response to the premiere of Blasted. The brutal content of the play resulted in much-quoted hostility from the critics. Academic attention to the play has begun a process of re-evaluation, debating the production and reception of the play and key issues including its status as a classic example of 'in-yer-face' drama.
This guide provides a comprehensive critical introduction to Blasted, giving students an overview of the play's significance, a brief biography of Sarah Kane and a guide to socio-political background; a detailed analysis of the play's structure, style and characters; an analysis of key production issues and choices; an overview of key productions from the 1995 Royal Court premiere to today; and a chapter exploring possibilities and exercises for practical work on the play. An annotated guide to further reading highlights key secondary material including useful websites.
"An informative and vital exploration of Kane's play, its various contexts and wider theatrical possibilities. Helen Iball's characteristically smart and engaging analysis draws together different forms of knowledge of Blasted, and invites its reassessment as part of the properly and intrinsically revolutionary process that constitutes morally re-evaluative theatre practice." - Professor David Ian Rabey, Drama and Theatre Studies, Aberystwyth University, UK
Mention -Book News, November 2008
'This accessible, student-friendly publication reminds us once again of Kane's status as a playwright with significant global impact' English Oxford Journal, 2010
Sarah Kane's Blasted 9780826492036 Briefly reviewed in the Year's work in English Studies journal, vol 89, No. 1 'This is the most ambitious treatment of the play to date in terms of both its analysis and revaluation of the play to date in terms of both its analysis and revaluation of the play and its inclusion of new interview material. Iball provides fascinating analysis of the play in terms of the importance that space within the hotel setting provides, and with it the body as another form of space that is marked out.'