Much more sophisticated and stylish in design than the usual fare in the Fusebox Theatre, Wasted is a mix of spoken word, music and drama that is difficult to pigeon-hole as a genre. This is the first play by London-based rapper and poet Kate Tempest, it first appeared in 2012 to rave reviews. Kate’s performance poetry has been going from strength to strength and she is single-handedly bringing poetry rap into the mainstream: last year her BBC2 debut was described as the place where ‘pop, poetry and politics collide’*

The show started with a brief poetry slam, a theme of which was the disillusionment of the Millennial Gen and the futility of the so-called Protestant work ethic that is not seen as a way out for this generation. This theme was carried into Tempest’s play, as three twenty-somethings grapple with finding meaning in their lives.

Charlotte, Danny and Ted are reeling and trying to make sense of their lives on the anniversary of another mate’s death. They are struggling with dead-end jobs, unfulfilling relationships and are seeking a way out, the problem is that old habits die hard and they keep getting stuck in a routine of getting ripped, coming down and recovery. The final recovery phase is almost always accompanied by pledges of change to improve their lives, until the cycle starts again. Even as Danny speaks to Ted about changing, they pop pills and smoke until they are fucked up yet again.

Jack Crumlin, David Harrison and Eliza Scott  give amusing and authentic performances  as they reminisce about Tony, the dead friend. Their memories are unreliable, though, Ted struggles remembering anything that he and Tony actually did together, but he recalls their time together as being happy, nonetheless. The point of the play seems to be that the past was a mostly happy place, while the present is a depressing drudge that offers no glimpses of hope, unless a day at Ikea does it for you. The nostalgic trio have good intentions but lack any real agency to effect change, though, so they remain stuck.

While disillusionment as a theme is nothing new – far from it, the format and style that Tempest conveys the message with keeps us engaged and adds another dimension to what could have been a ho-hum exercise. Sound design by Tegan Nicholls also worked well in a subtle fusion with stylistic lighting by Nick Fry to further enhance the production.

A definite must-see, Wasted is on at the Factory Theatre’s Fusebox theatre until 9 Dec, for more details and tickets see:

Featuring: Jack Crumlin, David Harrison and Eliza Scott.

Creative/Tech Team: Elsie Edgerton-Till (director), Tyler Ray Hawkins (designer), Tegan Nicholls (sound design), NIck Fry (lighting design), Bella Debbage (assistant director), Jess Bell (stage manager), Jessica Pantano, Michelle Sverddloff & Kings Collective (producers).

*Alexis Petridis ‘The Guardian’ 7 Oct 2016

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This Month in Sydney

Wednesday 29 November to Wednesday 20 December 2017

American Express Openair Cinema – Inner West Sydney

Inner Sydney

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American Express Openair Cinema is a quintessential outdoor event, with music by day and movies by night returning to Sydney’s Inner West, where the big screen is lit up at Sydney University’s Cadigal Green.
Once the sun sets, a mix of the latest and greatest releases light up the cinema under the stars for a truly memorable experience. In a joint bid to champion food waste prevention, American Express Openair Cinemas is teaming up with OzHarvest to present Soul Sundays, a Sunday session of delicious food sampling, trivia, music and games for all the family. AUD3 donation from each ticket purchased will provide six meals to those in need.
Better yet, anyone short of company is welcome to bring along their ‘Doggy Date’ to any screening!
World Master Pizza Making Champion, Youssef Touati from Salt Meats Cheese, will be flexing his credentials with pizza acrobatics before teaching guests how to toss dough like a pro, and the dedicated cocktail bar will serving a refreshing twist on summer classics, Frosé, Aperol Spritz, 4Pines craft beer and Giesen Wine as well as cinema favourites ice cream and popcorn.