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Complete Plays

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  3,433 ratings  ·  195 reviews
When Sarah Kane's first play, Blasted, was staged at the Royal Court Theatre, London in 1995 it was hailed both as a "masterpiece" and as a "disgusting piece of filth" (Daily Mail). That play, and the others that followed, have been produced all over the world. This anthology includes Kane's never-before-published Channel 4 screenplay, Skin. Complete Plays include Blasted, ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Methuen (first published 2000)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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 ·  3,433 ratings  ·  195 reviews

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Mar 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Allyson by: unnarrator
Shelves: madness, drama
The darkest of the darkest dark. Shocking. Often asked myself did that just happen?

NOT to be read all in one sitting.
NOT to be read after 10 pm.
NOT to be read when you are low (on energy &/or sun).

Crave is my favorite. I blogged a quote from it here.

Aug 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
From Crave: And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictu ...more
Joshua Rupp
Dec 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-reviews
Sarah Kane was called a Brutalist, an aggressor, part of a movement of loosely aligned punk playwrights who wanted to blow the world’s brains out and then show it the picture. She was vicious, unsentimental, lashing BDSM poetry onto the backs of her pages and giggling while unsuspecting audiences everywhere ran from the theaters in tears. What a mean-spirited rat bastard of a writer.

Naturally she was brilliant, and I don’t agree with any of this Brutalist crap. If anything her work shows intens
I've never understood
what it is I'm not supposed to feel
like a bird on the wing in a swollen sky
my mind is torn by lightning
as it flies from the thunder behind


It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind.
4.48 Psychosis
Evelyn  Rees
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
can't wait to do a production of 4.48 psychosis with my student theatre group; we are going to wear all black and address the audience directly. At one point, a strobe light will go off, whilst we are all naked. I will pour milk and red wine all over my body. My best friend who is majoring in electronic dance music therapy is doing the sound design, and is very excited for his debut theatre production. Also the entirety of the creative team will be straight white men (like myself) and will const ...more
Rosanna Threakall
With Sarah Kane, you either love her or you hate her.

I hated some of these but LOVED 4.48 Psychosis.

A must read for any drama/performance student.

Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Kane's career began with a blast - quite literally. In 1995 "Blasted" shocked and revolted the critical establishment by putting together two apparently unrelated subjects: a guy raping his mentally unstable girlfriend in a hotel room and civil war. Hard to imagine how the two could fit together in play, due to the difficulties such a hybridisation of concepts and languages implies. Kane took the easy way, stripping all metaphors bare and throwing them on stage, making the public acknowled ...more
Nov 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tatiana by: susan
Shelves: top-shelf, plays
these are some of the most fucked up things i've ever read. they're also completely brilliant. both of which are a reflection of her. i've now finally seen one staged (blasted) and it was quite the intense experience. reading the play doesn't quite prepare you for the actual act of watching it, nor does it do full justice to the play. once you actually seen living breathing human beings acting out these roles, every part of it gets magnified, including the brilliance. and i'd recommend seeing it ...more
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a book that is certainly not for everyone. It´s definitely disturbing. It's dark and extreme. There is rape, there is suicide, there is a tongue being cut off, limbs are removed, eyes are getting sucked out and a a baby is being cannibalized. Just to name a few things. And yet there is some beauty in the writing and in the things told.

To me there are very clearly two periods in Kane´s work. The first period would include Blasted, Phaedra´s love, Cleansed and the script for the short-film
Harry McDonald
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Re-read, 18/7/19

Probably the most significant body of work by any British writer of the last 30 years or so. Staggering texts that resemble nerve endings rather than typical dramatic muscle. The bleakest of situations shot through with that beautiful, pared right back poetry.

Essential reading.


Sarah Kane is quite possibly the most important dramatist to have emerged in the last 25 years. She's also quite possibly the best. She is often described as 'shocking' and there's no doubti
Leo Robertson
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing

OMG! I just looked at my first review (below) and remembered I did write this enormous thing about Sarah Kane and downloaded a tonne of texts analysing her work hahaha... If I find that folder on my laptop maybe I'll get back to it :D


Review pending--thinking of a blog I will write it for but I will at least post a link back here :)

Anyone who enjoys my own fiction, or has spent longer than they planned screaming into the void, will enjoy this one and feel heard and unde
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read Sarah Kane's play 4.48 Psychosis some years back when I was extremely depressed and it struck me as the baldest, most honest & terrifying representation of the condition I'd ever encountered. Knowing that the play--which is essentially a suicide's monologue--was the last Kane wrote before her own suicide seemed to solidify its veracity in my mind: it is a missive from hell.

All 5 of Kane's plays are compiled in this gut-punch of a collection. Reading them back-to-back I am glad to have nev
Bill Hsu
Read "4.48 Psychosis" and "Skin". The latter on YouTube:
It's so difficult to talk about Kane, even though I've been studying her oeuvre this entire semester, and I actually had a 4-hour exam on this topic today. I just can't comprehend it how such a huge legacy is compressed into this one book.

Would I have ever read this if it weren't for the course? Definitely not. Am I glad I did? You bet.

It's definitely not for casual readers; I don't think anyone who's unfamiliar with the historic context and criticism will enjoy/understand it. It's dark, viscera
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
What the fuck. That was undoubtedly one of - if not - the most bizarre set of tales I've ever had the opportunity of reading. Still not sure what I gleaned from that. Some deeper meaning? Profound thought? I just got hit with a heady dose of gratuitous violence and trauma. What is this? What am I? What are you, Sarah Kane?
Emilia Hamra
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
I shouldn't have read this all in two days.

I just woke up from a nightmare, something I very rarely have, even after scary movies. In it was a very graphic and bloody image. When I woke up it wasn't with a start. It wasn't that kind of dream. But I stayed in bed afterwards and thought about the meaning behind the violence and realized my dream contained so many themes we see in Sarah Kane's plays: the violence of war scaled down to its impact on a single individual, the need for acceptance and l
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama
5 plays, one short life. But Sarah Kane manages to release a blistering opus before leaving us. Brutal and, well, fucked up, but an amazing view into a persons mind. In some ways, reading the plays as a collection, I an reminded of Beckett, but stronger, harder. Just as Beckett did, Kane gradually pared down her drama piece by piece until only the very essential core remained; a voice, a narrative, an essence of self destruction. In other ways I am reminded of J.G. Ballard, also a master of the ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book about a year ago. Today I had to rate my last year's top 3 favorite books and this was the first one to cross my mind. It's brutal, and it really isn't suitable for most people, but fans of transgressive fiction will definitely find something so compelling that they'll come back a year later to write a review about it! ...more
My god, the most disturbing plays I've ever read. I do feel bad for her and the fact she took her life. Despite it being the most disturbing plays ever, they are extremely well written. I think Blasted will haunt me for the rest of my life. I'm not sure I'd ever want to see them staged, because they are viscerally awful for me, but again, very well written, intentional theatre. ...more
Jure Godler
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Essential. Dark, funny, inventive, desperately human, with a depth of feeling that compels you. True, you might spend a lifetime understanding some of these plays, so read them now and get started.
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theatre
Sarah Kane is a very interesting writer. I'm glad I picked up this book and read her works. :) ...more
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: play
A brain blender. Just makes me think of how the plays came to happen. And properly be represented. Worth the read. And the after-thoughts.
Jan 14, 2019 added it
Shelves: plays, 20th-brit
intense & challenging material
Cas ❦
I can't help but rave about this? When I picked up Sarah Kane, I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I definitely Blasted as a complex masterpiece rather than an attempt to shock. Her style is quite modern but assured and grounded which helps the reader make sense of it.

Phaedra's Love
I liked it a little less than Blasted, maybe because it is a reworking rather than an original concept? I felt like the themes were really well addressed but the characters lacked some development and it c
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, faves
Embodies the drawn out pain of being fractured, whether by war, love, hate, dysphoria, mental illness, or the rest of the gamut of life's experiences. ...more
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: transgressive, drama
Good vibes only!!!
Feb 05, 2020 added it
miss kane handed me a gift wrapped in a little basket and i said thank you miss kane and then i opened it and the present was mental illness
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"a sunflower bursts through the floor"

blasted - 4.5
phaedra’s love - 3.5
cleansed - 3.5
crave - 4.5
4.48 psychosis - 4.5
skin - 3.5
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, play, uk
A long, long time ago I was living in Münster, Germany, with a girlfriend who liked to go to the theatre. For such a small city Münster has some great theatres, including the Wolfgang Borchert Theater, which was playing Sarah Kane's 'Zerbombt' (Blasted). I had never heard of Kane, and I had never heard of the play, but in we went. In other words, I wasn't really prepared for two rapes, one forced removal of eyeballs, and the de-eyed guy eating a dead baby. About 10 years later and I stumble over ...more
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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 battled with depression, and her life was brought to a premature end wh ...more

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