Lewis Davies was at the Llansteffan memorial hall in Camarthen for a performance of Wasted, a witty and clever play from a major voice in new urban writing, Kate Tempest.
The Llansteffan memorial hall got Wasted on Friday night with Kate Tempest’s portrayal of disaffected twenty somethings looking for meaning in a modern urban life. In an ambitious stripped down bare production directed by Ioan Hefin, a group of friends gather to remember the good times when the future looked so bright they were going to need shades. When Ed (Lawrence Stephenson) didn’t shop in Ikea on a Saturday morning for matching curtains, when Dan (Daniel Muir) played in a band that was going to get signed, when Charlotte (Jodie Davies) didn’t spend all her time stopping fourteen year olds sending pictures of their cocks to each other (she’s a teacher), and, finally, when Tony was alive.
The answer to all this ennui is of course well-known; you get wasted, and the ensemble supporting cast do a good job of evoking the lost days and nights of getting out there and forgetting, while Kate Tempest’s witty dialogue pushes the story forward. Dan’s going to get sorted this time, if only he could find a drummer for the band. He’s found someone who looks like a drummer – he’s got tattoos and everything. Dan is the centre of the lost group, he’s in love with Charlotte, if only she would give him one more chance. But Charlotte has resigned from her job and booked a flight. She’s leaving tomorrow. Dead Tony drifts in and out of the action in memory only. Edward played with some style by Lawrence Stephenson is the truth teller; he’s realised life is going to be like this and he finally tells Dan his band is rubbish and they are never going to get signed even if that guy from the record company turns up at the next gig. Dan, all bravado, insecurity and second-hand epiphanies is convincingly evoked by Daniel Muir. He knows the game is up, he’s got only one good song but he’s got Charlotte, if only she’ll give him one more chance. Charlotte played with a reserved knowing understatement by Jodie Davies offers a way out of the cycle, some ambition and a realisation that there may be something else out there, a life the other side of the river. She’s not really going to give Dan another chance is she?
Wasted is a witty and clever play from a major voice in new urban writing. This production, from a talented Trinity St David’s final year group, with some excellent performances, particularly by the trio at the centre of action, delivers a short sharp insight into all those times you thought you’d forgotten. Time that subtle thief of youth.
Llansteffan Memorial Hall, Carmarthen
Tours this week to Aberystwyth, The Haliwell Carmarthen, Neath and Port Talbot, Swansea at Volcano’s November Fest, Cardiff St Davids’s Hall.
(image credit: Jennie Caldwell)
Richard Lewis Davies is a publisher and writer. His short story, The Stars Above the City appears in Queer: An Anthology of Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Fiction from Walesedited by Huw Osborne and Kirsti Bohata to be published in 2020.