The stunning 4.48 Psychosis

  • A MIND-BLOWING PERFORMANCE: Nicole Jeannine Smith.

I’ve just seen Nicole Jeannine Smith’s brilliant performance in Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis and I want to alert theater lovers that they only have one more chance — Saturday, Nov. 23 at — to see this shocking, seldom performed piece.

Written by Kane shortly before her suicide, the play is impressionistic, jagged, painfully honest, cryptic, literate and devastating.

Smith is up to the drama’s demands. At times she’s confessing her mental illness to no-one in particular, then she’s facing another psychiatrist, popping psychotropic drugs, anguishing about a love affair, regretting that she can’t reach her overwhelmingly needy self.

Sharply directed by Giles Davies, Smith is so emotionally authentic, you can’t help but believe that she’s enduring clinical depression before your eyes, with nothing held back. It’s drama like this that got me hooked on the theater in the first place — what a relief to find it at the Straz Center’s Shimberg Playhouse, in a Jobsite Theater production.

At only 55 minutes, it’s more impressive than most other shows of twice the length (and that aren’t borrowing another play’s set).

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