Eliza Scott as Charlotte and Jack Crumlin as Danny in Wasted, at the Factory Theatre, Sydney

When I got a call recently about a show at the Factory Theatre, and the director described it as 'written by an English slam poet', I didn't exactly know what to expect.

David Harrison as Ted, Eliza Scott as Charlotte, and Jack Crumlin as Danny in Wasted

I mean, I've seen the occasional performance poet (Christian Bök at the NZ Festival springs to mind) - but it would be interesting to see how that translated onto the stage, and via the mouths of actors, into characters in a story.

Turns out, there's no question - Wasted is a play, that's clearly written by a poet; and that's fine, actually.

There are scenes, and there are poetic transitions between them as well; but rather than seeming out of place, they feel like they're drawn from theatrical tradition. Somewhere between a Greek chorus reflecting on the action, and an internal monologue, divided three ways. 

And it completely works, too. This is a beautiful production, with an intense mix of textured projection, music, and a great cast working with an excellent script. Elsie Edgerton-Till finds the balance between the characters' inward reflection on the state of their lives, and their outward bravado that stops them actually talking about any of it with each other - well, it almost stops them.

As a character study, it's very well crafted; so it's hard to believe this is Kate Tempest's first play...

If I had to describe Wasted, I'd probably say it's 'a more Shakespearian Trainspotting'. (And hopefully, that makes you want to see it!) I went in knowing nothing about the author, and came out wanting to see, and read, more of her work.

The show's only playing until this coming weekend (9 December) - catch it while you can!

The cast & crew of Wasted on stage at the Factory Theatre

Wasted by Kate Tempest at the Factory Theatre, Sydney

Director: Elsie Edgerton-Till
Designer: Tyler Ray Hawkins
Cast: Jack Crumlin, David Harrison & Eliza Scott
Sound Designer: Tegan Nicholls
Lighting Designer: Nick Fry
Assistant Director: Bella Debbage
Stage Manager: Jess Bell
Producers: Jessica Pantano, Michelle Sverdloff // The Kings Collective