Sarah Kane Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Sarah Kane wrote exclusively for the theater, with the exception of Skin, an eleven-minute film first broadcast in June, 1997, for England’s Channel 4, for which she wrote the teleplay.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Sarah Kane received no major literary awards during her brief lifetime. Critics in England were divided about her work, many deriding it as shocking and disgusting, others defending her as a poet and an important new dramatic voice. Since her arrival on the professional London theater scene with the opening of Blasted in 1995, her plays have been widely performed and acclaimed in Europe, and all of her major plays—Blasted, Phaedra’s Love, Cleansed, Crave, and 4.48 Psychosis—have been published both separately and in collections in English, French, German, and Italian. In 1996, she served as playwright-in-residence for Paines Plough, a prestigious London theater company dedicated exclusively to the presentation of new work.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Dromgoole, Dominic. The Full Room. London: Methuen, 2001. A broad overview of how the dramatic playwrights of the 1990’s have shaped the New British Theatre movement. Along with Kane, playwrights discussed include Conor MacPherson, Jonathan Harvey, Philip Ridley, Sebastian Barry, and Naomi Wallace.

Greig, David. Introduction to Sarah Kane: The Complete Plays, by Sarah Kane. London: Methuen Press, 2001. Scottish playwright and editor David Greig provides an excellent introduction to Kane’s body of work, including an insightful assessment on the difficulties in staging a Kane play.

Saunders, Graham. Love Me or Kill Me: Sarah Kane and the Theatre of Extremes. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 2002. The first volume devoted to Kane’s life and works. Contains analyses of her various works, interviews with producers and directors who worked with Kane, and a thoughtful preface by prolific British playwright Edward Bond.

Sierz, Aleks. In-Yer-Face Theatre: British Drama Today. London: Faber & Faber, 2001. This overview of young British playwrights has thirty-two pages on Kane, including a biography and a critical breakdown of her plays.

Tushingham, David. Live 3: Critical Mass. London: Methuen Press, 2001. An introduction to playwrights who are reshaping the British theater. Kane is represented by Blasted; other playwrights represented are Patrick Marber, Philip Ridley, and Jonathan Harvey.