Sarah Kane's plays lead the reader into the depths of the own mind - and thereby reveal unpleasant things that we never wanted to discover about ourselves or the psyche of others.
Motives in her In-yer-face theatre plays are love, abusive love, rape, depression, suicide. The dialogues are as unsettling as they are fascinating. The stage directions (or the lack of them) provide blanks that the reader's mind can fill or fill anew with each new reading.
"Blasted" happens in a hotelroom. Ian and Cate, the perpetrator and the victim of his rape, have to deal with the violence of war that breaks loose in the world outside.
"Phaedra's Love" is a new approach on the ancient Greek mythology of Phaedra who is raped by her son Hippolytus.
In "Cleansed" the sadistic phychiatrists Tinker literally takes apart his patients in their desperate search for love until their violated bodies and minds merge into new personalities.
In "Crave" four characters, reduced to mere letters instead of names, talk about their cravings for love in its most tender and ugliest forms.
Kane's last play, "4.48 Psychosis" no longer has characters, but consits of trains of thoughts that trouble a suicidal mind, caught between absolute desparation and absolute clearness.
What is truly shocking about Kane's plays is not the way they can be performed, but the clarity and beauty with which the most unsettling, most disturbing moments of human life are laid bare. The abyss of the human mind is brought to daylight - a must-read for all theatre-fans who are not afraid to get lost in the darkness of their own mind.