Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis is one of the key plays in the generation of Britain’s “in-yer-face” drama. The texts of Sarah Kane (1971 - 1999) employed shock, pain and the evocation of a sense of disgust and discomfort in the spectator in order to break down the ever-resistant fourth wall separating audiences from what happens on stage.
Nineteen actress of various ages are cast in this production. They form a choir of inner voices that run the gamut of intonations from irony to hysteria, from malaise or depression to lyricism, sarcasm, farce and grotesque.
Joining director Alexander Zeldovich in an exploration of the limits of female experience are the designers from the AES+F group. Their input makes them full-fledged co-creators of this show.
AES+F’s video material (animated 3D graphics) runs parallel to the text, occasionally matching it in an associative way, occasionally losing touch entirely in a surrealistic way. The poetics of the video content, sometimes fairy-tale like, sometimes horror-like, is filled with images of the archetypal female body - blood, milk, black snow, psychedelic colors and insects.
“This production is a dance macabre, a dance of death, a ritual and a grotesque,” says director Alexander Zeldovich. “The tragic is always the slash where destiny is the numerator, the individual is the denominator, and the remainder of each depends on their faith.”
In Russian with English subtitles.
"The human being today is changing, she/he is less holistic. She/He doesn’t express her/himself in a single voice as she/he used to. She/He less often tells about her/himself by way of her/his own destiny – she/he has none. Instead of a single position, she/he consists of a multitude of voices. She/He is polyphonic and may be expressed by a sum of voices, a chorus. In that sense this play precisely describes the contemporary human being, for this is how she/he is structured.' writes Alexander Zeldovich. "I don't think this description of the contemporary individual is universal or exhaustive. But Kane's play, it would seem, has been grasped quite precisely. The working hypothesis is proposed and implemented."
"Psychosis," which premiered in June, is one of the most anticipated productions of the autumn. The play explores clinical depression through the monologues of 19 different women.
August 27, 2016
“Zeldovich’s production features 19 actresses of various ages, each more interesting than the last. Zeldovich, which is natural, admires them, giving each a generous monologue and relative freedom.”
July 4, 2016
“In truth, Psychosis is a tragedy of its time. And a tragedy without a chorus is, somehow, an improper tragedy. In short, it’s as if we have been waiting years for a play with such a sophisticated approach.”
July 1, 2016
“The Electrotheatre’s top actresses Yelena Morozova and Alla Kazakova transform female hysterics into confessions. They play at self-hate with their eyes, their body, their voices. You believe them unconditionally.”
June 28, 2016
“Zeldovich turned this work that is usually performed in little more than an hour into an ambitious, two-and-a-half hour production (counting intermission). The text is split among 19 actresses and the physiological video art of the AES+F art group becomes an additional character. It is simultaneously epic and simple, and is reminiscent of the collective’s early works which were done without the participation of actors and models.”
Almost every video installation, each ‘packed’ with allusions from Freud and Salvador Dali to Frida Kahlo, is a shock, both physiological and aesthetic.”
June 24, 2016
“The aesthetic employed in this case by the designers is somewhat different from what we are used to. It is not refined, subtle or pointedly sophisticated. It is terse, forthright, naive in its own way, and strongly resembles the aesthetic of computer games. That, in turn, creates one more space - a virtual space. Once again, this refers us back to the life lived by contemporary man, one that passes in no less than three dimensions - physical, mental and virtual.”
June 23, 2016
“Thanks to the video images you literally are immersed in an endless psychedelic dream. The images come to life, pulsate and create the sensation of total immersion.”
June 21, 2016
“Psychosis is for an adult audience. It is contemporary, spectacular, innovative and very beautiful. The main heroines try to tell us that life is splendid and that thoughts of death must be put out of mind.”