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4.48 Psychosis in Wuzhen

strut and fret flyer

Students Yuqi Qiu and Serena Fu, founders of newly-formed theatre company strut and fret, have enjoyed both English and Oriental theatre for years and share a passion for both. This bilingual fledgling theatre company was established with the intention of bringing sharp, fresh and confrontational British theatre to the Far East.

One of the best-known works of British playwright Sarah Kane, '4.48 Psychosis' was selected for its unique perspective on the subject of psychosis and suicide. The play was produced posthumously after Kane committed suicide months after its completion in 1999, and was found to be both a shocking and defining contribution to contemporary British theatre. The format of the script is written purposely to mimic the fragmentation of self, the losing of borders of a psychotic mind. The paradox in the play is that the moment of clarity in the psychotic mind is, to those outside it, the moment when delusion is at its strongest – at 4:48.

This production by strut and fret brought to Wuzhen Drama Festival in October of 2017 to be performed in Mandarin. The Wuzhen Drama Festival is an annual theatre event organised in the ancient town of Wuzhen in the South of China. The entire town, which has a history of more than 1,300 years, is transformed into a splendid stage, and theatre lovers from all over the world are invited to enjoy and participate in this tantalising feast of the theatrical arts. This production of '4.48 Psychosis' by strut and fret offered the audience at Wuzhen Drama Festival an authentic taste of small-scale English theatre with a blend of Chinese cultural references, leaving them spellbound by its explosive theatricality, emotional power and bleak humour.