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Phaedra's Love

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  412 ratings  ·  12 reviews
First single volume edition of this bold version of a classic by Sarah Kane

Sarah Kane's radical reworking of Seneca's classical tragedy of incest and unrequited lust. Phaedra's Love is a bold and provocative revisioning of the story of Phaedra's obsessive and destructive love of her son Hippolytus and his violent punishment by Theseus.

Paperback, 41 pages
Published January 24th 2002 by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama (first published 1996)
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Jun 22, 2011 Ruby rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: play, 2011
Sex, murder, death, lies, truth, rape, suicide, church, prison, love, hate, family, royalty. All that in forty pages and I feel slightly overwhelmed.
'A vulture descends and begins to eat his body'; the most audacious stage direction since 'Exit, pursued by a bear'.
"There's nothing gay about Hippolytus"

Quite amusing, very 90s, very short (although plays always feel v short to read) contemporary reworking of the tale of Phaedra's doomed love for her step-son Hippolytus
Sep 23, 2007 Nora rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone, theatre people
This is a haunting, modern adaptation of a classic story. Kane probes the darkest aspects of this story in her signature style. Not for the faint of heart, but a brilliant and moving piece of theatre.
This is the play Kane referred to as her comedy. Great piece of work but I'm pretty certain she was being facetious when she said that.
Funny, smart, interesting, but just....I can't. I couldn't go to sleep after reading this.
Is this play so incredibly crap because I read it rather than saw it performed?
My complaints with this: It's a very, very difficult play to stage.
Everyone on earth should read Sarah Kane seriously
review later.

grade: B+
A very disturbing play coming from a very twisted mind. A spin on the classic Phaedra tale.
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Sarah Kane was an English playwright. Her plays deal with themes of redemptive love, sexual desire, pain, torture—both physical and psychological—and death. They are characterised by a poetic intensity, pared-down language, exploration of theatrical form, and, in her earlier work, the use of stylized violent stage action. Kane's life was brought to a premature end when she committed suicide at Lon ...more
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“Phaedra: I wanted to see your face when you came.
Hippolytus: Why?
Phaedra: I'd like to see you lose yourself.
Hippolytus: It's not a pleasant sight.
Phaedra: Why, what do you look like?
Hippolytus: Every other stupid fucker.”
“Hippolytus: Do you believe in God?
Priest: (Looks at him.)
Hippolytus: I know what I am. And always will be. But you. You sin knowing you'll confess. Then you're forgiven. And then you start all over again.
How do you dare mock a God so powerful? Unless you don't really believe.
Priest: This is your confession, not mine.
Hippolytus: Then why are you on your knees? God certainly is merciful. If I were him I'd despise you. I'd wipe you off the face of the earth for your dishonesty.
Priest: You're not God.
Hippolytus: No. A prince. God on earth. But not God. Fortunate for all concerned. I'd not allow you to sin knowing you'd confess and get away with it.
Priest: Heaven would be empty.
Hippolytus: A kingdom of honest men, honestly sinning. And death for those who try to cover their arse.”
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