Star rating: ****

Laughter isn't what you expect in Sarah Kane's final play, first performed posthumously in 2000 following the death of this most dynamic of writers the year before. When it arrives a few minutes into Grzegorz Jarzyna's T R Warszawa production following a self-loathing rant by Magdalena Cielecka's central cipher of mental and emotional anguish, it's an ever-so-slightly silly guffaw from a man who might be her significant other. It's the sort of laugh that only lovers in full pelt of tearing chunks out of each other use to puncture the moment's apparent seriousness.

Jarzyna's approach to a play which on the page reads as an opaque tone poem is at times a literal one, involving a re-ordered text, a love affair with a female doctor and numerous exchanges with figures of seeming authority. Each scene puts Cielecka at its centre, her hair scraped back as she lashes out at anything in her path, mainly herself. Intermittently, a disembodied voice straight out of Godard's Alphaville punctuates each snapshot with a sombre countdown to the woman's slow self-destruction.

What emerges is an increasingly impressionistic set of dramatic markers to a play that helped redefine how mental illness is treated on stage, but which is still hidebound by its own sad mythology. Following her turn in T R Warszawa's equally intense Dybbuk on the same stage last weekend, Cielecka gives an even more fearless performance in this seven-actor version that's as emotionally wide-open as its author. There will come a time in the not-too-distant future when the legend of Sarah Kane doesn't have to be recounted with every airing of her work. That time will come soon. But not yet.

From Saturday's later edtitions.

Herald Young Critic Review by Scott Clair Star rating: **** "Touch me, rescue me, love me watch me vanish" T R Warszawa's phenomenal adaptation of Sarah Kane's moving and extremely powerful 4.48 Psychosis is a frank and all-too-true insight into the desperation of a tragically tortured mind. This production also proves itself in terms of acting, direction, staging and, above all, extraordinary realism. In Magdalena Cielecka's breathtaking and outstanding portrayal of a nameless girl suffering in the advanced stages of a solitary, mentally and physically debilitating bipolar disorder, we see an actress attacking a role as though she hadn't eaten for a month. In addition to the unparalleled acting of Cielecka and the supporting cast, the director's use of stage language really does astound. It is indeed a rarity for a play to end leaving the audience with no idea how to react, as the action seems too real to applaud as a drama. The absense of a curtain call from the cast leaves the viewer in desperation for some acknowledgement that what they had seen is indeed fiction. One particularly poignant scene near the end shows the main character attacking her own psyche with a self-loathing monologue, comparing herself to Nazis and paedophiles as a solitary, naked 80-year-old woman walked around the stage, juxtaposing the clear fragility of the character with the aggressive language. This performance really is an astounding experience, and a tragic, yet compelling epitaph to its playwright, the late Sarah Kane. Scott Clair is a pupil at Holyrood High School.