By Makayla Olford
British playwright Sarah Kane wrote Crave, a one-act play first performed in 1998, under the pseudonym ‘Marie Kelvedon.’ Kane’s previous work was notorious for depicting graphic violence on stage; something that she strived to disaffiliate from this second to final play she wrote. Kane struggled with depression and was often institutionalized, and sadly took her life at the age of 28.
Crave is a performance piece without plot. Written without any specific stage directions or description of character, it was sometimes difficult to follow. Often, it was unclear to whom the characters’ lines were directed, but it was raw and refreshingly honest; it felt like you had been dropped into someone’s brain whilst in the throes of battling their own demons. The delivery of the dialogue was rapid, not making an easy task for Kane’s audience to follow, but whether this was the desired outcome of the director is impossible to say.
The set was simple, intimate and executed beautifully, using only two boxes that the four actors used to create texture and dimension. The music had a dramatic tone, but shifted according to the mood adding structure to the play. The actors often made direct eye contact with the audience, adding to the pre-existing intensity of Kane’s script. This worked well with the configuration of the seating plan. No matter where you sat, you felt you were a part of Crave.
Overall, the performance was thought provoking with heavy themes that the actors translated well. This clever script will reward those with a keen ear, loaded with biblical, pop culture and literary references – even some lines delivered in German. By far, Clayton Moss’s monologue was a stand out. I was drawn in by his performance and held on to every word he said.
You can catch Crave at 7pm at Erskenville Town Hall until 24 September.
Tickets from Sydney Fringe Festival.