Professionals Paines Plough impress at the Nottingham New Theatre

Kate Tempest’s Wasted is a glimpse into the future for many a university graduate. Not knowing what they want to do, wanting to jack in the things they do, but ultimately never actually doing it. Living for the weekend, drugs and booze.

But this performance has an eloquence that transcends a wild gurnathon night at Stealth – to the extent that no amount of words on a webpage could come close to matching Wasted’s lyrical dexterity.

The script is razor sharp, both in its observations and delivery. We’ve all been to (or at the very least, heard of) the parties they describe- warehouses full of hipsters with adjectives instead of names. We’ve all been dragged around Ikea. We’ve all wanted something better than we’ve got.

The lines were delivered confidently, combining the honesty and insight of spoken word poetry (good spoken word poetry) but with the additional insight of direction and theatricality.

Cary Crankson excels as entrapped wannabe hedonist Ted. The scenes where he, Lizzy Watts (Charlotte) and Bradley Taylor (Danny) – who were by no means outplayed by Crankson – indulge in drugs and alcohol are beautifully nuanced. They made the difficult task of simulating intoxication look worryingly easy.

The professionalism of the production extended to the technical performance. Impressive visual projections and sharp lighting cues easing the transition between storytelling and on-stage drama. The power of Kwake Bass’ relevant musical score added another impressive creative dimension.

Jarring, however, was the actors intentionally awkward entrance to the stage. They tell us they don’t know why they’re here, and not to expect anything special. It cracked a smile, but it’s hard to see what the point of the charade was.

Perhaps it jarred because they did deliver something special. This was a fantastic refreshingly relevant production, and an inspirational glimpse into the possibilities of professional theatre at the Nottingham New Theatre.