Review: 4.48 Psychosis by NoExit 

3.5 stars

NoExit Performance; Big Car Gallery; directed by Michael Bachman; through March 5.

Brutal and beguiling, 4.48 Psychosis, is not for the faint of heart, nor the thin-skinned of wrist. It’s one of those plays that’s already in progress when you arrive at the theater. No one comes out to welcome you, invite you turn off your cell phone and note where the nearest exit awaits in case of disaster. It’s just Georgeanna Smith, the central character in this piece, staring at you as you come in. Making eye contact with you as sit. And as you squirm.

Playwright Sarah Kane wrote this free form poem — no stage directions, scenes or characters defined — and, soon after, she killed herself. Suffice to say, if suicide has been part of your world, then this play will either push the right buttons or smash the wrong ones.

In a stunning performance, Georgeanna Smith inhabits the pain, angst and occasional comedy of a psyche in disintegration; she’s mesmerizing. Tommy Lewey is a fine complement, choreographing the movement and appearing on stage with Smith in various capacities: boyfriend, doctor, shadow.

The cast includes Matt Goodrich and (NUVO contributor) Katelyn Coyne as a tapestry of voices that inhabit the back of the theater — and the inside of the main character’s mind. Director Michael Bachman makes sure the play doesn’t last TOO long, and adds much-appreciated moments of humor and relief throughout. Additional performances: Feb. 25, 26, 27; March 3, 4, 5.

For tickets and information: 339-0911.

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Jim Poyser

Jim Poyser

Jim Poyser is Executive Director of Earth Charter Indiana, a statewide organization that was one of over two dozen nonprofit partners in Greening the Statehouse. A former managing editor of NUVO, he won HEC’s Environmentalist of the Year Award in 2013.

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