Ahh, avant garde, dramatic art, always thought-provoking and confusing. Or something like that. Ahh, avant garde, dramatic art, always thought-provoking and confusing. Or something like that. and I went to see Crave down at the Distillery District last night. Written by Sarah Kane and first performed in 1999, it was an interesting visualization of a young woman’s clinically-depressed mind. I understand it was a fairly factual representation of Kane at that time in her life (shortly before she committed suicide).

The set was unique, with each of the 4 actors visually, but not quite physically, separated from each other. Three of the actors each portrayed multiple characters; the fourth was the young woman who was persistent. There was a mother/psychiatrist/adulteress, a father/pedophile and a brother/boyfriend/lover to the adulteress. The challenge was knowing when the character changed, which was represented only in the dialogue. As well, the actors spoke mainly to the audience and the recipient of the dialogue changed regularly. It took me roughly the first third of the performance to determine that this was indeed the case, resulting in me missing much of the content in that third. The remainder was still a challenge to follow, but I think effectively portrayed the fractured mind of the young woman.

I find that performances of this kind appeal to a limited audience and reinforce the inaccessibility of theatre to the mass market. We had the opportunity to hear the cast members discuss some of the challenges and opportunities they found in the performances, as well as some insight into the process of creating the performance. While this was helpful in giving more perspective around the story, it would have been more helpful if some of the details had been available before the performance to give a better idea of what the audience could expect. [Ahh, avant garde, dramatic art, always thought-provoking and confusing. Or something like that. Ahh, avant garde, dramatic art, always thought-provoking and confusing. Or something like that. and I went to see Crave down at the Distillery District last night. Written by Sarah Kane and first performed in 1999, it was an interesting visualization of a young woman’s clinically-depressed mind. I understand it was a fairly factual representation of Kane at that time in her life (shortly before she committed suicide).

The set was unique, with each of the 4 actors visually, but not quite physically, separated from each other. Three of the actors each portrayed multiple characters; the fourth was the young woman who was persistent. There was a mother/psychiatrist/adulteress, a father/pedophile and a brother/boyfriend/lover to the adulteress. The challenge was knowing when the character changed, which was represented only in the dialogue. As well, the actors spoke mainly to the audience and the recipient of the dialogue changed regularly. It took me roughly the first third of the performance to determine that this was indeed the case, resulting in me missing much of the content in that third. The remainder was still a challenge to follow, but I think effectively portrayed the fractured mind of the young woman.

I find that performances of this kind appeal to a limited audience and reinforce the inaccessibility of theatre to the mass market. We had the opportunity to hear the cast members discuss some of the challenges and opportunities they found in the performances, as well as some insight into the process of creating the performance. While this was helpful in giving more perspective around the story, it would have been more helpful if some of the details had been available before the performance to give a better idea of what the audience could expect.](http://ppfhouse.com/art/) and I have discussed before that generally art and entertainment should reach for a higher level of intelligence, rather than accommodate the lowest common denominator. While this certainly achieves that ideal, the level was maybe a little too high.

I’m going to give it 7 out of 10 saltines; it was good but I’ll warn that this isn’t something for everybody.