"IRON CROW THEATRE STAGES SARAH KANE'S DISTURBING, ENGROSSING '4.48 PSYCHOSIS'"
There's something at once real and surreal, disturbing and absorbing, about this roughly hour-long examination of mental illness, qualities that Iron Crow Theatre seizes upon in a darkly evocative production directed by Ryan Clark at Theatre Project.
Kane's non-linear play is a kind of manic prose poem about people in various stages of mental illness; warnings and pleas seem to haunt every line. All of this requires a well-matched ensemble, which Iron Crow has assembled: Katie Keddell, Che Lyons, and Nick Horan (he is especially effective carrying out choreographic moves woven through the staging).
-Tim Smith for The Baltimore Sun
"...Something beautiful out of the darkness."
"The characters alternated convincingly between desperate patients as they fight for a life without suffering and their therapists who are unable to say or do anything meaningful. There is a moment in the play when a character breaks the fourth wall and begs the audience to say something to him.
It is an uncomfortable moment for all involved as the audience wonders if they are really supposed to speak and, if so, what are they expected to say? In this way, the company manages to convey the helplessness of those outside the mind of a depressive."
- Nancy Murray for Bmore Art
"pushing the edges of what can be performed on stage."
"I think that 4.48 Psychosis is one of the closest things to a literary masterpiece that our generation really has. Confrontational, unique, stylized yet genuine, 448 fortunately seems to have firmly established itself in the canon of Modern Theatre. It also presents a unique opportunity for actors, designers, and directors, because the text is so open one is forced to boldly interpret it in order to stage it. Iron Crow Theatre should be commended for executing a challenging yet deeply rewarding play."
- Michael Poandl for DC Metro Theatre Arts
"Made me exhale without realizing i was holding my breath for minutes."
"The performances have an ingrained, visceral trueness to them that made me exhale without realizing I was holding my breath for minutes at a time."
"4.48 Psychosis picks away at a scab on my soul revealing a big, dark, red, raw, aching heart inside of me. Iron Crow is to be commended for never, ever turning away from the sound of that heart beating. The actor’s surety was epic and horrible, mapping the landscape of madness with brutal clarity. I want you to look at this, even if it’s hard for you. I want you to look."
-Anonymous for The Bad Oracle
"A simply outstanding production."
" Iron Crow Theatre has given [4.48 Psychosis] a simply outstanding production."
And I have nothing but praise for this staging. Director Ryan Clark and Movement Director Nick Horan make so much out of so little: basically three chairs, a length of white rope, and three performers (Horan, Katie Keddell and Ché Lyons) dressed in white and usually framed against darkness, with an assist from visual projections above and to the sides of the performers. Much can be made with these simple elements.
The original production featured three performers, the number here. Horan, Keddell and Lyons manage to switch rapidly among the voices, principally the despairing and their therapists, and to find depth and characterization even in the sketchiest of temporary roles.
I must counsel you to waste no time, tear yourself away from the comfortable and familiar, and see it before it's gone. Stare into the void for awhile.
-Jack L. B. Gohn for Broadway World: Baltimore
"So much being offered at such a high degree of presentation and delivery..."
"There is so much being offered at such a high degree of presentation and delivery, it's impossible not to be affected by the creation."
"Memories are recreated with this multiphonic voice—therapy sessions, doctor visits, medication lists and side effects—and a portrait of inescapable pain emerges. It’s raw, it’s disconcerting, it’s funny and beautiful and it mirrors so well the everywhereness of the brain, the way we think of (and stress over, and recalibrate) multiple things at once. The brain is rarely linear; rather, it’s more a floating mosaic of near memory and rooted emotional landscapes and spikes of realization and confusion and despair."
-Andrew Sargus Klein for What Weekly
"A SOLIDLY CREATIVE EXPERIENCE...POTENT PERFORMANCES AND CLEVER ATMOSPHERICS."
"In keeping with the Iron Crow Theatre Company’s tradition of staging unconventional, thought-provoking, often dark dramas, the kick-off to their three-play 2014-2015 Season did not disappoint. You know you’re in for a signature Iron Crow theatrical experience when before the play begins the audience observes a body dressed in white, highlighted by occasional red lighting, lying prone on the otherwise darkened Baltimore Theatre Project stage with some gloomy New Age music droning in the background prior to its presentation of 4.48 Psychosis.
"Director Ryan Clark took advantage of this artistic latitude and superbly guided a skilled Iron Crow ensemble and crew with proficiency and imagination. Three excellent actors - Nick Horan who turned in an admirable performance in Iron Crow’s The Homo Poe Show in March, Katie Keddell and Ché Lyons —efficiently rotated in and out of the roles of the doctor, the patient and the bystander."
-Steve Charing for MD Theatre Guide
"IRON CROW'S 4.48 PSYCHOSIS DECENDS INTO MADNESS."
"Abandon your preconceived notions of reality in this moving and masterfully performed work of art through illness, it is a show that you’re not soon to forget. Serving as a fragmented and refreshingly queer portion of the mind, the ensemble fluidly performed in tandem as an illustration of the internal strife and contemplative nature of a soul slowly extinguished by depression and subsequent suicide."
"Tucked away in the inner recesses of the mind exists a deep, intrinsic urge to grasp something real. In Psychosis, Iron Crow’s reimagining of Sarah Kane’s solemn and introspective play concerning the process of mental illness, reality is abandoned in a menagerie of sight and sound serving to illustrate the mental fluidity of the ill."
"Directed by Ryan Clark, the nonlinear, seemingly haphazard tapestry that is the human mind unravels before the audience’s eyes, urging introspection and a deeper examination of cognitive processes through the lens of the mentally ill."
-Lyn Muldrow for Gay Life Magazine
"A SERIES OF INTERESTING MESSAGES MAKE [4.48 PSYCHOSIS] WELL WORTH INVESTIGATING."
"Often interpreted as the playwright’s suicide note, or final goodbye, the work now appearing at Iron Crow as Directed by Ryan Clark leaves a great deal of room for conjecture and interpretation. A largely collaborative and movement-influenced piece of art work, the performance structure leaves a lot to the audience as far as what message they take away from it and what experience they have with it."
"Lyons and Keddell give stunning performances, as does Horan, but it is Horan’s moments of vulnerability that stand out the most in this show. Each of the three performers takes turns playing both the patient of whom madness has struck up residence inside their mind and the doctor trying to aide them. It is a dizzying dance to watch them shift roles so frequently, but a commendable effort for whirling through them as they do."
-Amanda Gunther for Theatre Bloom