by Sarah Kane
In 1995 Sarah Kane's first full-length play Blasted sent shockwaves throughout the theatrical world. Making front-page headlines, the play outraged critics with its depiction of rape, torture and violence in civil war. However, from being roundly condemned by the critics the play is now considered a seminal work of European theatre and has defined an entire era of stage writing.
In an expensive hotel room in Leeds, Ian, a middle-aged tabloid journalist, sits with his teenage lover Cate who he attempts to seduce and eventually rapes. As reality dissipates, the room becomes embroiled in civil war as a soldier invades the space and the play descends into apocalyptic scenes of brutality.
Blasted's canonical status reflects the raw beauty and terror of Kane's writing. Probing the brutality people inflict upon one another, the suffering and violation, the play also looks at the role of love and the redemption it offers. Unafraid to delve into darkness, this is a provocative, fragmenting piece full of significance and power.
Blasted premiered at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in January 1995.
Methuen Drama's iconic Modern Plays series began in 1959 with the publication of Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey and has grown over six decades to now include more than 1000 plays by some of the best writers from around the world. This new special edition hardback of Blasted was published to celebrate 60 years of Methuen Drama's Modern Plays in 2019, chosen by a public vote and features a brand new foreword by Mel Kenyon.