Post Productions 4.48 psychosisKieran Potter

Fay Lynn in 4.48 Psychosis

Windsor’s The Shadowbox Theatre is currently showcasing a compelling double feature that juxtaposes the intense emotional depth of Sarah Kane’s “4.48 Psychosis” with the sharp, insightful humor of John Clancy’s “The Event.” Directed by the skilled Michael K. Potter, this audacious pairing made its debut to audiences this past weekend. It delivers a rich blend of psychological introspection and clever theatrical commentary, with performances scheduled to continue through March 2, offering six more opportunities to experience this dynamic theatrical event. The evening begins with the intellectually stimulating “The Event,” which gently prepares audiences for the subsequent journey into the emotional tempest of “4.48 Psychosis,” ensuring a night of profound and varied theatrical experiences.

Sarah Kane’s “4.48 Psychosis” offers a compelling, if challenging, exploration of mental illness and despair. This production of Kane’s final work before her untimely death attempts to navigate the complex narrative and emotional landscape of a play that has no clear plot, characters, or setting, but instead presents a raw and fragmented monologue of a person in profound psychological pain.


The narrative plunges us into the troubled mind of an unnamed woman, brought to life with fervent dedication by Fay Lynn, who contemplates ending her life at 4.48 am. Lynn’s compelling performance ushers the audience through a whirlwind of raw emotions, including confusion, sorrow, anger, and grief, embodying the character’s inner conflict with remarkable depth. Her portrayal is a spectacle of emotional intensity, at times so potent that it borders on overwhelming, reflecting the play’s aim to evoke a profound emotional response from the audience. This intent was vividly realized, as evidenced by an unforgettable moment when a man seated beside me was visibly shaken, sliding out of his seat in horror, a testament to the play’s gripping impact.

In an inventive departure from the original text, the production innovatively casts Courtesy Lebert and Maggie Marchenkowsky as Voice 1 and Voice 2, respectively. This bold move to personify the protagonist’s inner turmoil brings an added dimension to the performance, with the actors donning black attire complemented by glow-in-the-dark masks. This striking visual element, almost as if sung between the two actors, powerfully encapsulates the woman’s descent into madness, enhancing the internal struggle through a visual representation of her mental anguish.

Potter’s direction, coupled with Lynn’s raw depiction of mental unraveling, demonstrates a distinct and purposeful approach to animating Kane’s demanding script. The production’s minimalist set, along with hard lighting and errie sound, significantly enhances the play’s surreal and disturbing ambiance.

“4.48 Psychosis” is undeniably a demanding piece of theatre, both for those on stage and those in the audience. Post Productions deserves credit for tackling such a complex and unyielding work, bringing it to the Windsor-Essex community with sincerity and ambition. While the production’s interpretive choices may not resonate with everyone, they undeniably spark conversation and reflection on the nature of mental illness and the power of theatre to confront uncomfortable truths.

Post Productions - The EventKieran Potter

Heath Camlis as The Man in The Event.

“The Event,” also directed by Potter, offers a theatrical exploration that is as self-reflective as it is whimsical. This one-man show, featuring Heath Camlis as The Man, delves into the psyche of a theatre actor, dissecting the live performance with a blend of humor. Adding a unique layer to the production, Potter himself voices the role of a narrator, drawing a parallel to the Warner Brothers’ cartoon “Duck Amuck,” where an unseen animator playfully manipulates Daffy Duck’s reality.

Potter’s narration brings a sense of omnipresent control to the stage, reminiscent of the playful yet frustrating relationship between Daffy and his animator. This dynamic adds a layer of comedic tension, breaking the fourth wall and its subversion of the character’s agency. In “The Event,” this nod to “Duck Amuck” serves to underscore the themes of control and chaos within the world of theatre, as The Man grapples his performance.

Camlis’s portrayal of The Man is a balancing act between the humorous and the profound. He adeptly navigates the script’s demands, though the performance occasionally wavers between moments of sharp insight and overextended movements. The challenge of maintaining the audience’s engagement is heightened by the play’s minimalist staging and the reliance on a single actor’s presence. While the simplicity of the setting ensures that the focus remains on Camlis’s monologue, it also places the onus on him to sustain the energy and momentum throughout the show, which he does very well.

The direct engagement with the audience is one of the play’s most engaging aspects, creating an intimate atmosphere that invites the spectators to become part of the narrative. However, the success of these interactions will, most likely, vary, depending on the audience’s responsiveness on any given night.

While “The Event” is clever and thought-provoking, it is not without its challenges. The play’s reliance on a singular character and narrative voice and the absence of visual variety can at times lead to a sense of monotony, especially as The Man looks at his watch and periodically reveals how much longer the play will be. Despite this, it’s actually a quick little play that’s well written and perfectly acted out.

The pairing of “The Event” with “4.48 Psychosis” in a double-bill evening is an intriguing choice. The lighter, more comedic tone of “The Event” provides a stark contrast to the intense and harrowing experience of the latter. Tickets are still available for all performances until March 2 at The Shadowbox Theatre.

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