The fifth and final play by Sarah Kane, performed at the Royal Court Theatre on 23 June 2000, sixteen months after Kane's suicide. It is one long suicide note, a chaos of despair, screamings from a shattered inner world; but it is also a Sarah Kane play, peppered with black humour, word-play, musings on love and loyalty, dreams for the future, disarmament of simple solutions, wry and dispassionate intelligence.

Hatch opens
Stark light

the rupture begins

I don't know where to look any more

Tired of crowd searching
     and hope

Watch the stars
predict the past
   and change the world with a silver eclipse
the only thing that's permanent is destruction
we're all going to disappear
trying to leave a mark more permanent than myself

It is for three actors. There are no conventional markers of person, except that in some sections (not that it's divided up in any way) there are alternations marked with a dash, between the female patient and the male doctor, the only one who has shown her any sympathy, but who she considers has betrayed her. Their awkward fencing, in which he clearly cannot help her yet in some way seems not to be doing enough, is the only external dialogue, all the rest seeming like a monologue. But not having seen this on stage, I don't know how the third (female) actor was used.

The title refers to 4.48 a.m., the time in the morning when suicidal and psychotic thoughts are strongest, though both occasions in the play when that time is mentioned, it is as one of special enlightenment and clarity ("at 4.48 / the happy hour / when clarity visits"), and one of them seems to make reference to the point in C.S. Lewis's The Silver Chair when the Prince, thought to be mad and dangerous at that time, is actually free of enchantment for that hour only.

The initial cast were Daniel Evans, Jo McInnes, and Madeleine Potter, and like most of Sarah Kane's plays it was directed by James Macdonald.

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