The Unbearable Banishment: Does This Sound Like a Satisfying Evening to You?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Does This Sound Like a Satisfying Evening to You?

Currently at the SoHo Rep, you can pay $65 per ticket to sit through a drama where following events are acted out on stage:

A scene opens with a woman in a fetal position on a bed. She unfolds her body to reveal blood between her legs, the result of a bite from her menacing lover.

A man violently rapes another man while holding a revolver to his head.

After the rape, he sucks out his eyeballs and eats them.

The play is Blasted by Sarah Kane, a British playwright who, at 23, committed suicide. With all that darkness rattling around inside her head, it's no shock that she met with an untimely end.

Surprisingly, (or, perhaps not) the entire run is sold out. There is a nightly queue for cancellations. People are clamoring for tickets. I wouldn't go for free. I can certainly handle heavy drama. That's not the issue. But no matter how compelling the plot is, I can't help thinking that the violence depicted is just as gratuitous as that in Saw or any of the other torture porn films. It's not for me.

Critics and audiences are hailing the dramatic and courageous performances of the three actors involved. The lead actress said that the preparations, “messed with my head.” Yea, no kidding. I think all the posturing by critics is load of horseshit. They’re just voyeurs, whether they want to admit it to themselves or not.

As Randy Newman sang in A Few Words in Defense of Our Country:

But wait, here's one, the Spanish Inquisition
They put people in a terrible position
I don't even like to think about it

Well, sometimes I like to think about it


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you about violence. You don't have to shove it down the audience's throat for it to be real and it should puncuate not dominate the story. If it is constant and overwhelming than all you get from the audience is reaction not thought.

November 7, 2008 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

Clockwork Orange comes to mind...the story is punctuated by violence, but not defined by it. Sounds a bit like over-kill. I agree with anniegirl1138. If all your doing is shocking the audience what message are they supposed to take away from that?

November 7, 2008 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

digital: Clockwork Orange is on my 10 best books list. It's one of the few I go back to for an occasional re-read. If you haven't read it, you should. Funny + creepy.

November 7, 2008 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

Love the book. It sits right next to Crime & Punishment on my bookshelf. ;)

November 7, 2008 at 3:23 PM  

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