Paines Plough bring Kate Tempest's Wasted to town
Amy Danbrowsky • Published 22 Feb 2013 09:30 0 Comments
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NO TIME TO WASTE: Lizzy Watts in Wasted PHOTO: RICHARD DAVENPORT
WASTED, a play where dissatisfaction and inner turmoil is the chewing gum of disenchanted twenty-somethings, will be portrayed with searing honesty at Norden Farm, in Maidenhead.
Paines Plough national touring theatre commissioned spoken word behemoth Kate Tempest to write the play and James Grieve, co-artistic director of Paines Plough, spoke to The Guide about the process.
Tempest is a 26-year-old London-born lass whose powerful lyrics and dynamite delivery have earned acclaim among her peers - touring with spoken word stalwarts including John Cooper Clarke, Billy Bragg and Benjamin Zephaniah.
James told us: "I first saw Kate perform at a festival in front of a rowdy 400-strong crowd that was more interested in drinking than watching anything. This young girl walks on stage and says she's going to do some poems. I thought she was going to die on stage, but after 30 seconds she had every single person in the palm of her hand, enraptured. I thought then: I have to work with her. I've seen Kate perform many times over the years and every time she has the same profound, transformative effect on her audience. I thought, imagine if you could bottle that and put it in a play?"
Paines Plough, formed in 1974 over a pint of Paines at the Plough pub, takes new theatrical pieces across the country from The Barbican to Latitude Festival. Their first 42-date run of Wasted saw rave reviews and James tells us he's excited to be taking it on the road once more. "It's one of the best things I've ever worked on, with one of the best teams of people, so it's a joy to do. Kate has made a few small changes but essentially it's the same play and it will be the same production, but we have one new cast member - Bradley Taylor - who is bringing lots of new ideas and new energy to it."
The three-hander follows old friends Ted, Danny and Charlotte, as they battle to find their purpose in an unforgiving world. James said: "Kate had never previously written anything to be performed by anyone other than herself. It was a daunting challenge for the actors and I to deliver her extraordinary words, knowing that Kate herself is one of the best performers out there, and that her personality and voice are uniquely captivating." He added: "I've never known a show have such a profound effect on young audiences as Wasted, and that's a big reason why we're touring it again, so more young people have a chance to see it. Kate writes real people, in real situations, speaking language people recognise.
"It brings Kate and her unique voice and unique style. It's rap poetry fused with a thrilling dramatic narrative. Watching the play feels like being at a gig with a torrent of words, a speaker-busting rave score, and amazing film visuals. It's theatre in HD. To anyone who doesn't like theatre, this is for you."
Wasted is at Norden Farm, in Maidenhead, on Wednesday. Tickets from www.nordenfarm.org or by calling 01628 788997.
This article appeared in Bracknell News 21 Feb 13