Review Wasted Kate Tempest USWTSD by Kiera Sikora

Photo credit, Jennie Caldwell
Director Ioan Hefin’s take on Tempest’s dynamic piece about a group of friends performed at  Volcano Theatre in Swansea saw the cast struggling through their salad days painting a reflective portrait of the modern day dilemma; how do you escape when the safest place to go to escape, is inside yourself?
Photo credit, Jennie Caldwell
The stage is dimly lit with little set and mountains of character, ‘R.E.M’ playing softly in the backround giving us the impression that we’re inside the youth’s world, we’re not intruding because we are, already, part of this world aren’t we? If we’re honest. And that idea of honesty plays a massive role in this piece.
Ed (is a man of many words, fighting his own battle with finding a balance between being happy and being high. While his best friend Danny (Danny Muir) fights the same problem in a different battle. He’s in love with Charlotte (Jodie Davis) and also in love with the idea of his band being being a world wide success, but one thing all three of them share is the loss of their friend Tony. The charcters tell us about how bright their lives were before, before their future became the present and their lives became a mess. When they had more to do than just get wasted. We hear their minds in a collection of pacy outbursts. From Charlotte’s ensemble of thoughts we learn that she needs more than this, than what Dan’s giving her, she needs her feelings to be put first. So she’s leaving. Tomorrow. Which leaves Dan even more confused about his own life. But what can he do about it? It’s clear to us after just a few minutes that Dan’s tormented by his own feelings, having to think about Charlotte’s might be a little too much to ask. Then there’s Ed, who’s off to ikea later with his girlfriend to pick up some curtains but just before then tells Dan what he needs to hear, that is band is crap and if he loves Charlotte then he better get a move on.
The piece is beautifully amplified by a band of thoughts, always present and just as slick. Kayley-Leighanne Stead, Jodie Edwards, Coral Halliwell, Claire Temple and Morgan Oehschlager evoke and encourage the action in the piece and add to that sense of unified confusion in an urban jungle. The leaves on the stage resembling their friend Tony’s tree, creates a kind of metaphor for the piece. Anthing that is not supported, encouraged, looked after, acknowledged and cared for is wasted. The almost forgotten leaves are an example of what can be lost when you lose the ability to be hopeful and honest to yourself. A raw and relevant piece from the dominant voice of Kate Tempest, performed with clever conviction and effective wit, ‘Wasted’ is a piece to be remembered.
Stage Manager- Amber Cole Pendrey
Assistant Stage Manager- Julie Braithwaite

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