Infamy and Dying Young: Sarah Kane, 1971-1999

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


If there is one thing that commentators on Sarah Kane’s celebrity agree on it is the suddenness of its advent. Before the Royal Court opening of her first play, Blasted, on 12 January 1995, few had heard of her; the morning after the press night she was on the front page of the tabloids and by the end of the run her reputation as a theatrical enfant terrible was established.1 When she died unexpectedly in 1999 The Times claimed that Blasted had ‘shot her from nowhere to notoriety’, the Guardian described her debut ‘as the most controversial of recent times’, and the Independent portrayed her as the woman who ‘shot to notoriety and front-page prominence at the age of 23’.2 From the moment Kane came to public attention she provoked outrage at her raw depiction of sex and violence, and though she later tried to redefine herself, she never shook off the inflammatory rhetoric that accompanied her abrupt ascent to fame.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheatre and Celebrity in Britain, 1660–2000
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)978-1-349-52399-3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2005


  • Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Artistic Director, Sunday Times


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