British disabled-led theatre company Graeae presents the London premiere of its production of Sarah Kane’s Blasted at Soho Theatre in the New Year, in a production directed by Jenny Sealey which runs from 18 January to 3 February 2007 (previews from 16 January).

The company, which stars David Toole, Jennifer-Jay Ellison and Gerard McDermott, integrates British Sign Language and Audio Description into the onstage action. The actors use all aspects of the text to full effect, incorporating stage directions spoken by the actors and sign language interpreters observing the action as the play unfolds.

Sealey said: “Directing a Graeae cast in a play in which so many metaphors surrounding disability exist presents unique opportunities. With the roles being played by disabled actors so much more of Kane’s language can be excavated. This emerges from a personal connection with the text.”

Kane’s extremely violent and controversial 1995 play explores themes of the horror of war, the fragility of peace and the fracturing of civilised society. Linking the atrocities of the battlefield with the casual violence of everyday life, it made headlines and divided both critics and the public when it received its Royal Court premiere. Since then it has only received four professional UK productions but is frequently revived internationally, most recently by German company Schaubuhne, which played at the Barbican earlier this month.

- by Caroline Ansdell