‘What’s the point of suffering in 1963?’

Barry Dickins’ new work is a meditation on Sylvia Plath’s last night alive; titled A Kind of Fabulous Hatred, the play opens on Thursday for its inaugural season (read details here). A staged reading was presented to a packed audience in November 2012 (part of the R. E. Ross Trust Flashpoint program), when Barry spoke with great candour about the personal story behind the project. During recent months of meeting with Caroline Lee and Laurence Strangio in connection with the script, I became aware of the unremitting flow of interest in Plath’s life. This year, the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Bell Jarand of Plath’s deathhave added momentum to the flow (or to the haunting), and all of its lasting controversies. Barry is a poet. And a Romantic, surely. His reckless identification with Plath’s writing, and with the imagined turmoil of her obsessive rage, fantasising, and suicidal thinking is by turns pungent, melodious and full of wit.