AceShowbiz - A theatregoer reportedly fainted while watching the first preview of Cate Blanchett's new "sexually explicit" and "incredibly violent" play.
The Oscar-winning actress began starring alongside "Game of Thrones"' Stephen Dillane in new play "When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other" at London's National Theatre on Wednesday, January 16, when it opened for previews.
According to the production's official description, the play explores the "messy, often violent nature of desire" and features six characters who "act out a dangerous game of sexual domination and resistance," and its content proved too distressing for one elderly audience member who fainted during the preview and an ambulance was called to the venue.
Samuel Tucker, who helped the woman, told Britain's The Times newspaper that the play was "sexually explicit and incredibly violent right from the start".
"The whole thing is a bit much, to be honest," he continued. "It is so in-your-face violent and so in-your-face sexual and if you are not about that life, it might come across as shocking."
According to the publication, another audience member called it "sexually gross", while another said the "extreme violence" made it unpleasant to watch. They described explicit simulation of sexual acts including a foursome in a car which ends in violence against women and the use of sex toys.
On Thursday, National Theatre officials sent emails to those attending the second preview to warn them about potentially "distressing" scenes. They reportedly apologised for the late warning and explained that the play had been "shrouded in secrecy" and they were only now finding out more about it. They have also updated the play's webpage.
When asked how audiences might respond to the production by Britain's The Guardian earlier this month, the Australian actress said, "I always see theatre as a provocation... You're not up there running for office, you're asking a series of questions. Some people might be enraged, some perplexed, some people might be excited. Hopefully it's the conversation afterwards that's the most important."
The production marks Blanchett's return to the London stage after seven years. The demand for tickets was so high the theatre introduced a ballot system for the limited run, which concludes on 2 March.