Review: Crave at 53two is a ‘meditation on the meaning of love’

Angry, funny, defiant, kind and cruel, Crave is a deeply personal meditation on the meaning of love.

“Here I am, once again, here I am, here I am, in the darkness, once again”

Angry, funny, defiant, kind and cruel, Crave by Sarah Kane is a deeply personal meditation on the meaning of love.

In a damaged world, four characters search for the light.

This heart-rending, funny, kind and cruel meditation on the meaning of love resonated with audiences looking to reconnect after the loneliness and seclusion inflicted by a global pandemic.

If you don’t understand it, then you probably understand it more than you know – this is Chris Lawson’s production of Crave, with its deliberate loudness in a space where silence is valued.

Sarah Kane’s deliberately equivocal play was first performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in 1998, offering a production which was open to interpretation by those who watched it.

23 years later, HER productions and James Oates have revived the emotionally charged production, proposing an open stage for trauma caused by the pandemic.

This production raises a looking glass to love, hate, fear, personal trauma, and the gaping wounds of society.

The vagueness and simplicity of the whole production is in contrast with the violent chaos of the performance, as words and emotions are simultaneously thrown out into the air like delicate confetti, and the embers of an explosion.

The cast, which comprises of four extraordinarily talented personalities, who have appropriately ambiguous names in the production, A (Jake Ferretti), B (Matthew Heywood), C (Elizabeth Meadows), and M (Etta Fusi), are four voices speaking out in a world which craves release, but often
favours silence.

When unsure as to what was happening, Eliyana Evans’ sound design ensured that you knew whether to be on the edge of your seat with anxiety or as if you had just come through a particularly harrowing thunderstorm and could see the clouds parting ahead of you.

Dylan Tate’s lighting design often cascaded the audience, bringing you onto the stage and reminding you that your interpretation was a vital part of the performance.

I think the uncomfortable ambiguity of Crave mirrors the fractural nature of trying to understand our own emotions, such as love, hate, fear, and trauma. Then again, it’s open for interpretation.

You can catch CRAVE at 53Two from 31st May – 4th June 2023. Shows start at 7:30pm £13

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