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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/roydupui/public_html/templates/dark3/functions.php on line 571

Ian is a journalist, suffering from an excess of alcohol and cigarettes.  Committed to a process of self destruction, he knows he is facing death, threatened as much by the illness that is destroying his body as by the risk (real or imagined) of reprisals caused by his recent activities (trafficking or maybe even murder – his recent past is hazy). Blasted begins as he enters a hotel room with Cate, an innocent young girl from a poor background whom he has made his sex slave.  Domestic violence, then, is depicted as a battle of the sexes, in which rape and physical abuse are supposed to be proof of love. 

Like Ian, Cate is rendered powerless, as inept in love as when confronted by the world around her.  Ian begs for the girl’s affection and she gives in, but she has fits whenever he comes near her.  After a night which one suspects is particularly violent and painful, she takes flight.  Disaster is imminent for them both.  In the distance the noises of war thunder.  The havoc outside collides with the private lives of the couple.  So the play plumbs the depths of a relationship exacerbated by the introduction of terror, with the arrival of a soldier whom one presumes is a survivor from the former Yugoslavia.  With this stray warrior the war enters the town, enters the room.  And so the sadomasochism is reversed – the violence is turned on Ian, who has to endure what others have inflicted on the soldier’s girlfriend.

Blasted is the story of Ian, of his ordeal and slow death.  And Sarah Kane’s writing elevates this dreadful and inconceivable story to the heights of an ancient myth, to the heights of Sophocles or Shakespeare.  As she says, “... sometimes we must descend into hell imaginatively in order to avoid going there in reality”.

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