The text of 4.48 by Sarah Kane has been on the desk of Sara Debosschere (of De Roovers) for 25 years. “The script regularly draws my attention: I pick it up, flick through it and put it down again.” Now, after all these years, Debosschere brings her reading to the stage.
“My first encounter with it caused a shock, as it does for so many people. I still remember it vividly: I was 21, at the beginning of a difficult period. At that time in my life, the text got too close, and it seemed impossible to me that anyone would ever perform it. I grew up in a setting where psychological vulnerability was part of our daily life and, later in life, I went through a serious crisis myself, completely unexpectedly."
"Fortunately these periods are behind us, and I am grateful that things have been able to recover in a remarkable way. That is the perspective from which I read the script now, many years later, with different eyes."
On the one hand 4.48 is a stunning theatre script, but on the other it is also an authentic, precise and moving attempt to describe certain processes that play out in the generally invisible zone between consciousness and subconsciousness, loneliness and dialogue, love and aggression, swimming and drowning.
"Sarah wanted to convey that while mental illness may be pathological, it isn’t necessarily illogical"Simon Kane (Sarah’s Brother)
4.48 is entirely mistaken to read the text as a letter of farewell, says Debosschere. "The fact that the writer committed suicide after writing it threw a shadow over how it has been read. I feel the need to resist this reading strongly. I recently found an interview with her brother that had a profound impact on me. He confirms the need I feel to refute that fatalistic reading. Nobody is capable of knowing what feeling leads to which word and which word to what action.”
ABOUT THE MAKERS
Marc Vanrunxt and Sara De Bosschere got to know each other in the bar of the Monty theatre in Antwerp. They started watching each other’s work there and became interested and intrigued by what the other was doing. This led to the short, intense collaboration Lust for Life in 2013, a declaration of love in text, dance and music. Sara De Bosschere approached Vanrunxt for artistic and movement advice on the production, dramatized by Koen Tachelet. As always in his engagements with other creators, Vanrunxt wishes to penetrate deep into this work, with his vision of time and duration, the use of space and presence.