Blasted Background

Blasted Background

Highly controversial in its time, Blasted is British author Sarah Kane's first and last play, performed in London at the prominent Royal Court Theatre. The play has many shocking and rather gruesome elements, causing many critics to be disturbed.

The play centers around a character named Ian, a dirty, grubby journalist who finds himself in the middle of a battlefield after he attempts to have sex with a young woman named Cate. Ian is extremely despicable: homophobic, misogynistic, and racist, yet throughout the play he himself is subjected to the terrible acts of mankind: bombings, rapes, and genocides. The play is very graphic and disturbing, with incidents of rape, suicide, prostitution, and cannibalism.

Although Blasted was first extremely negatively received by critics in its time, critics nowadays believe its brutal scenes to be a poetic statement. The critic Ken Urban says that "for Kane, hell is not metaphysical: it is hyperreal, reality magnified."

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