"There's more to life than getting wasted," resonates the final words of
this new play that blends spoken word, rap and poetry into a hard-hitting
tale about modern life told through the eyes of a triumvirate of 20-somethings who are starting to realise that growing up isn't all it's
cut out to be.
Charlotte (Lizzy Watts) is a disillusioned teacher who, perceiving the
inequality in the education system, walks out in frustration at her
inability to express to her state school class that they should go out and "smash a
window". Then there's her ex-boyfriend Danny (Ashley George) who is in
denial about accepting the responsibilities of adulthood and more
preoccupied with London's jobless boho scene, his band and getting Charlotte
back. Finally there's Ted (Cary Crankson), stuck in a dead end data entry
job with a secretary who "stinks of custard creams".
In short they've had enough of life and they're not even 30. It's all a bit
depressing really but the energy, the originality, the humour and the
insightful observations make it an unmissable experience, especially if
you're of that generation. As Danny states, "these are strange times and we
have strange minds" - indeed. But although the subject matter deals with the
ecstasy culture in a Human Traffic kind of way that might only be half
understood by some, there's a universal truth behind the
play too. Most of us will be able to emphasise with what's being said on
stage because it's all part and parcel of - not necessarily 'growing up' -
but growing older.
The performances are tight, punchy and second to none, frequently delivering
their dialogue together in rapped spoken word sequences where a sentence is
begun by one but finished by another, Beastie Boys style. Crankson is a
particular standout, in part due to the fact that he has some of
the best lines. But his delivery is brilliant too. Getting royally, and
convincingly, monged in a club scene he crawls away with his shirt off
before re-entering some moments later with heart-shaped sunglasses on and a
Rizla stuck to his face. "I'm ffffff... fffffurked", he states in his hard
London accent, "amAZing night though".
But it's writer Kate Tempest who deserves the most praise. A poet, rapper and member of the band Sound Of Rum this is her
debut play. More please.