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Kate Tempest: Wasted [Theatre]

Wasted is the new play by brilliant rapper, poet and spoken word artist Kate Tempest.  This is her first play performed by Pleasance Plough Theatre company from Bristol.

The play opens with a drum and bass electro heart beating, edgy and dangerous.  Three friends have reached their thirties, following a decade of partying and taking pills. Where do they go from here?  What can they get from the 'real' life on offer outside the world of parties and café recovery hangouts. Dan is a struggling musician, Charlotte a disillusioned teacher, Tony, a family man, bored by his job.

The set is a massive tv screen with speakers surrounding it, as if all our lives and determination take place within the media.  In snippets of the characters inner world, there is a sense of disillusion and separation from reality on the screen.  In contrast the dancefloor provides a different experience, as their dreams come to life, they experience a sense of freedom, connection and breaking down of boundaries as different people come together. This is where they talk about their dreams and desires, Dan wants to have a loving and fulfilling relationship, Charlotte a teaching job where she can change something and Tony talks of starting his own business. 

an internal world of wants and needs

There are plenty of funny sections within the play, for instance where the rave starts and Tony gets onto the podium to begin the dance, there are also some brilliant face gurning moments and rushing, serotonin rushing to the brain, making you consider the chemical impact. Throughout the play there is an internal world of wants and needs, whilst externally there are solid conversations as the characters seek to find the way forward. Then the raps contain a certain energy and motivation to make it happen, where their true selves and passion exist.

The rapping section works particularly well as the characters are brought to life, this is where the actors Lizzy Watts, Ashley George and Carry Crankson shine, as they add a dynamic intensity to the play.  The three rap sections are like mission statements that can move dreams and reality forward.  The characters sing of their internal hopes and desires, as they search for more meaning in life, the bit that is filled by the dance. The last rap asks you to realize your dreams and bring them from the dancefloor into real life.

The play is full of insights and discovery and if you know Kate Tempest's work you will not be disappointed in her lyrical genius.

11.20pm Friday 15 July 2011 – Theatre Arena, Latitude Festival
8.50pm Sunday 17 July 2011 – Theatre Arena, Latitude Festival



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