The Kane I “Crave”
A- “There’re worse things than being fat and fifty.” / “Being dead and thirty.”
How about dead and just weeks shy of 28?
As my appreciation of Sarah Kane’s plays continues to grow, I find my frustration with her death mounting, also.
I want more Kane. But this is a craving that will go unfulfilled, obviously, much like the forever elusive/illusive wishes of C, M, B, and A in Crave. In this play, which was premiered on August 13, 1998, by Paines Plough at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, even those who seek death as a final fulfillment are warned that what precedes and follows cessation of life is virtually the same: a purgatory of repetition. Not much satiety in that. At the level of dialogue, we hear the characters repeat–perseverate–certain lines. No matter what they say or do, getting unstuck proves impossible.
Below are some other striking lines and exchanges from Crave that highlight the play’s (dark) humor, incisive critique of human behavior, psychological depth, and sheer honesty (The teacher in me knows that’s not really a parallel-structured list.):
A- “You’re never as powerful as when you know you’re powerless.”
C- “I hate the smell of my own family.”
B- “You look reasonably happy for someone who’s not.”
M- “I don’t want to die alone and not be found till my bones are clean and the rent overdue.”
A- “Only love can save me and love has destroyed me.”
M- “There’s something very unflattering about being desired when the other person is so drunk they can’t see.”
C- “I’ve faked orgasms before, but this is the first time I’ve faked not having an orgasm.” (C experienced pleasure while being raped.)
C- “You can only kill yourself if you’re not already dead.”
C- “If I die here I was murdered by daytime television.”
M- “Do you ever hear voices? B- “Only when they talk to me.”
B- “Estas astravesada como el dia Miercoles.” [Transaltion: “You are like a Wednesday.”] Ha!