The National Theatre’s latest production, Cleansed, is having some rather extreme effects on its London audience.
To be fair, some of the audience watching Katie Mitchell’s production of the Sarah Kane play will have probably had a good idea of what to expect.
For unsuspecting theatre goers though, the part where one main character has his tongue removed 22 minutes into the first act, was too much to handle – and we mean that literally.
— Daniel Edwards CDG (@dedwardscasting) February 23, 2016
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It has been reported that up to five members of the audience were escorted away to receive medical attention, over a six night period at the National Theatre.
There’s plenty of mutilation, violence, and nudity throughout the play, and there have also been accounts of walk-outs.
Let’s be fair however – and add some context to all this outrage.
Sarah Kane is widely regarded as one of Britain’s most celebrated playwrights, so don’t go thinking it was written by some nut-job in a straitjacket, who somehow got hold of a biro.
Her play draws particular influence from former Yugoslavia civil-war torture chambers, hence all the killing and maiming and stuff.
It may look like Saw, but at least it has metaphorical intentions, eh guys?
All we’ll say, is that if you were planning a first date at the theatre this weekend, you might just want to go to a cheap restaurant instead – and avoid all the embarrassing ‘vomit cleaning’ that you might have to do.
If you have the stomach for it, however, the production is on at the National Theatre until May 5.
Main Image: The National Theatre