(Lyn Gardner’s article appeared in the Guardian, 2/11.)
Twenty years after it opened to critical incomprehension and outrage , there’s no way that Sarah Kane’s Blasted can be dismissed as a naive shocker. It’s far too smartly crafted for that. The play wears its magpie borrowings on its sleeve – from Brecht to Beckett to Pinter – and still rings loudly with the clarity of Kane’s own bell-like Cassandra voice.
Even if you know what’s coming, as the racist and abusive middle-aged journalist Ian (Martin Marquez) checks into a swish, anonymous hotel room with the epileptic teenage waif Cate, and proceeds to rape her, this is a play that makes you sit up as if you’ve suffered an electric shock. Richard Wilson’s revival never wavers in holding up the mirror. The glass windows through which Cate gazes silently, as if seeing unspeakable horrors, look out directly over the audience, and as the play explodes open we start to see ourselves reflected back.