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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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"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.

- Will Stone


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