Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: 4.48 PSYCHOSIS at The Catastrophic Theatre

Catastrophic returns with a heart-breaking production of 4.48 Psychosis

Review: 4.48 PSYCHOSIS at The Catastrophic Theatre

Trigger Warning: Mentions of mental illness, and suicide.

A hospital bed, chairs, and a large screen greet audiences as Catastrophic Theatre returns with a heartbreaking production of 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane. This play by the British playwright is semi-autobiographical as the work deals with mental illness and a young person's descent into finally committing the ultimate self-harm. This play is Kane's last work, as many deem the play as Kane writing about their eventual suicide. Catastrophic's production reveals the many challenges of mental illness and provides a honest and beautiful production of Kane's work.

With excellent direction by The Catastrophic Theatre co-founder, Jason Noodler, Catastrophic's production features some of the best acting right now in the Houston area. Actor, T. Lavois Theibaud portrays the central character. While we are never given the character's name, T delivers an immensely layered performance. We witness Kane's character commit self-harm, and slowly descent into madness as they grapple with mental anguish. No spoilers, but one must pay careful attention as we see T utter beautifully some amazing poetry. As the character is given medicine to help cure her mental illness, they state "There's not a drug on earth can make life meaningful." This quote amongst others is what provides some of the most amazing insight into psychopathy. Furthermore, at the end of the production is quite an eye-opening experience, like a Marvel film, stay till the end.

Review: 4.48 PSYCHOSIS at The Catastrophic Theatre
A scene from Catastrophic Theatre's production of 4.49 Psychosis by Sarah Kane.

The other actor, Amy Bruce, portrays the central character's therapist. Bruce is wonderfully cynical and friendly to T's character. However, besides the impeccable acting, it is the design elements that provide some of the most amazing details of this production. Afsaneh Aayani's set design is incredibly compelling. Hudson Davis' lighting provides some of the most amazing backdrops to the character's descent. The most amazing design elements come from the sound and video design of James Templeton. Throughout the piece we see the inner workings of the character's minds through Templeton's work. There is one particularly interesting scene of flashing, strobe lights, and amazing video portrayal of the main character's illness. Huge kudos goes to Tabita Bounds for not only creating some of the hardest-working props in Houston's theatrical landscape but also for stage managing the show.

4.48 Psychosis runs through Sunday, December 12th at MATCH (3400 Main St) in Matchbox 3, with performances on Thursdays at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:30pm. There will be an Industry Night performance on Monday, November 29th at 7:30pm. Tickets are as always Pay-What-You-Can at All audience members must wear a face mask while in the performance venue.

Theatre Southwest Announces Cast and Creative Team For SILENT SKY Photo
Theatre Southwest has announced its cast and creative team for Silent Sky, written by Lauren Gunderson.

Alley Theatre Receives $20,000 Grant For The National Endowment for the Arts Photo
The Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre is a recipient of a 20,000 NEA Grant for Arts Projects. This month, the grant will support the launch of a new initiative that culminates during Afro-Caribbean poet and Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott's, The Odyssey. Heroes Within: A Celebration of Victorious Journeys, is a project connecting the Epic play's hero's journey to the heroic experiences pertinent to Houston's Black community.

Interview: Co-Stage Directors Nicole Kenley-Miller and Lawrence Edelson Share With Us the  Photo
For this weekend only, the University of Houston will be presenting SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM, a musical revue of the work of Stephen Sondheim. Co-stage directors of the production Nicole Kenley-Miller and Lawrence Edelson shared an inside scoop about the unique show and the collaboration that has gone into building this truly special production.

Main Street Theater Presents Thomas Gibbons PERMANENT COLLECTION Photo
Main Street Theater (MST) is presenting Thomas Gibbons' riveting play, Permanent Collection. Inspired by events at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, one of the world's greatest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist & modern art, the play explores the impact of race and racial equity on society, through the lens of visual art.

From This Author - Armando Urdiales

Armando Urdiales (He/Him/His)”: A second year MS in Theatre Studies at the University of Houston, I have been obsessed with theater since I was a kid. My mothers lullabies were from Andrew Ll... (read more about this author)

Review: Six the Musical Packs a Powerful Punch at the Hobby Center for the Performing ArtsReview: Six the Musical Packs a Powerful Punch at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
November 11, 2022

The story goes that Toby Marlow and Lucy moss after meeting in their years at university, made a decision to write a musical about the six wives of Henry VIII. Their inspiration, a tiny poem that goes “Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived” has become the basis of a megahit musical that rewrites the narrative of the lives of Henry wives. In doing so, the current tour stop at the Hobby Center is one that you absolutely do not want to miss.

Review: 4th Wall Theatre Company Strikes a Spooky Chord in Lucas Hnath's THE THIN PLACEReview: 4th Wall Theatre Company Strikes a Spooky Chord in Lucas Hnath's THE THIN PLACE
November 2, 2022

Two chairs, a side table, and a lone actress on stage begins 4th Wall Theatre’s production of Lucas Hnath’s The Thin Place. These four elements are the creation of a spooky and eerie story of what lies between the mortal and ghostly worlds. Ultimately, 4th Wall’s The Thin Place features top-tier performances from some of Houston’s favorites.What did our critic think of 4TH WALL STRIKES A SPOOKY TONE IN LUCAS HNATH’S THE THIN PLACE at 4th Wall Theatre Company?

Review: Tensions Rise in Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress at Main Street TheaterReview: Tensions Rise in Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress at Main Street Theater
October 3, 2022

Tension. Defined in the dictionary as mental or emotional strain. This simple seven letter word sums up the production of Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress currently playing at Main Street Theater. Don't be confused though, this tension that discusses race, politics, and other contemporary issues is expertly done.

Review: MISS MAUDE Gains Potential at AD PlayersReview: MISS MAUDE Gains Potential at AD Players
October 3, 2022

You would think a story with its title character would be the main focus of a play. For example, Beetljuice the Musical’s title character almost never leaves the stage and has a character arc, or in The Music Man, the literal Music Man, Harold Hill, remains the center of attention for most of its play. Unfortunately, Miss Maude at AD Players, a play that draws inspiration from a selfless black nurse from the 1950s, fails to provide its title character anything more than a plot point for its white male protagonist. This ultimately leads to a Pre-Broadway World Premiere that with some tweaking could see a fully successful commercial run in both New York and other theaters. While I did not personally enjoy some aspects of the story, Martin Casella has the beginnings of what could be a great play.

Review: TUTS AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' Oozes Charisma at Hobby Center for Performing ArtsReview: TUTS AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' Oozes Charisma at Hobby Center for Performing Arts
September 26, 2022

Fats Waller is one of the many black artists over the centuries whose music still permeates popular culture. His stylistic rhythms are part the foundation of the quintessential American sound and it is due to this that his musical revue AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ is a tremendous work of art. TUTS season opening production not only does his music incredibly justice but also provides a night of theater that one simply will never forget.