Get Wasted at the Hat Factory

POET and rapper-turned playwright Kate Tempest is performing her debut play at the Hat Factory, Luton, next Thursday.

Wasted tells the tale of a group of twenty-somethings who are searching for a way to change their lives as they find themselves at a loss of where to go next, a story many people will empathise with.

The friends are Ted, who is in a dead-end job and under pressure from his long-term girlfriend to settle down, Danny, who is in a band that should be the next big thing but never is, and Charlotte, who is thinking she might not be cut out for teaching after all.

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The fourth member of the group, Tony, died ten years ago to the day, and the play centres on the group as they relfect on a life tragically cut short, wondering if they’ve wasted their own lives.

The show features Tempest’s trademark lyrical ferocity and dynamic theatrical staging, in a production that describes as ‘electrifying’. Talented Tempest has an impressive background in music and poetry, fronting the hip–hop inspired group Sound of Rum, whose debut album Balance was released in April 2011. She has been rapping since she was 16 and says she is influenced equally by a love of hip–hop and a love of great literature.

Tempest has played at festivals including Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, the Big Chill and Latitude, as well as gigging all over London in venues from the grand Koko in Camden to Birds Nest Pub in Deptford.

She has supported legendary punk poet John Cooper Clarke, firebrand Billy Bragg and afrobeat legend Femi Kuti, as well as touring the UK with label mates Dan le Sac VS Scroobius Pip and one of her poems was illustrated by Turner Prize winning artist Chris Ofili.

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Her spoken word releases Broken Herd and Patterns both sold out in weeks, and her poetry has been commissioned by Louis Vuitton, children’s charity Barnado’s and the Royal Shakespeare Company, so with that experience you can expect big things from Wasted.

Paines Plough, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Roundhouse, in association with NSDF and Latitude Festival commissioned Tempest to write her first ever stage play, and the result is an urgent and exhilarating coming-of-age story.

The performance is suitable for ages 16 plus due to strong language. Tickets cost £9; £7 concessions; £5 with a Culture Card or only £2 for under 26’s. There’s also a £6 pre-theatre meal deal with the Kitchen café at the Hat Factory. To book tickets or for more information, call 01582 878100 or go to