4:48 Suicide: hatch opens, stark light

24 years ago Sarah Kane wrote her last play: “4:48 Psychosis” . It’s a summer day in June, the year is 2000. She was depressed and often woke up at 4:48 in the middle of the night. The play consists of 24 sections with no characters, settings or specific stage directions. Some sentences are repeated throughout the play, “hatch opens, stark light” for instance. Counting down in serial sevens, counting down from 100 by 7. 93, 86, 79 and so on and so forth.

Someone said it was impossible not to view the play as a deeply personal howl of pain. Was there really a distribution of suicides by the season of the year or the time of day? (1) What does it take for someone to say, this is not a world in which I wish to live, thank you? (2) How do you stop squeezing your heart? Would you rather lose your legs? (3)

  1. Seasonal effects on suicide rates (Wikipedia) : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_effects_on_suicide_rates
  2. 4:48 Psychosis Monologue, Caroline Dubberly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8iAqVWTh1I
  3. 4:48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQPjXzo-2ac
  4. On the work of Sarah Kane: https://thewritingcoach.co.uk/4-48-psychosis-creativity-and-despair-written-in-2001-on-the-publication-of-bluethroat-morning/
  5. 4:48 Psychosis remains haunted by the death of it’s author https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/theatre/sarah-kanes-448-psychosis-remains-haunted-by-the-death-of-its-author-20170820-gy039o.html