Spectacle and Extremity: Blasted

After classic, Brechtian, and documentary modes of presentation, another option would be the spectacular violence onstage of Blasted by Sarah Kane.

[a small aside about the mitigated version of the play as staged in Berlin]

But the larger question of whether the realistic violence distracts from the political intent of the play.

Actually the larger issue was the inability of the spectator to withdraw – so that everyone’s reaction was visible within the theatre, that reaction was a public element to the spectacle.

If Brecht prevents you from becoming fully immersed, doesn’t naturalism become its own reactionism, it’s own source of shock or alienation?

Levine: there’s a comment from Weil, that true suffering is aversive, that it puts you off.

Real suffering makes you feel powerless, it doesn’t deaden you – I feel it – but the question is what you do.  The question isn’t about feeling it, it’s a dilemma of action.


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