Kate Tempest’s show Brand New Ancients, based on the intertwining lives of two families unravelling against the backdrop of the city and mythology, has garnered one of the biggest bouts of buzz surrounding a spoken word theatre piece probably ever! Recent excitement over this show has only been matched by the prospect of seeing Inua Ellams Black T-Shirt Collection at The National Theatre. So it’s really a case of when you’ll be going to the Battersea Arts Centre to see this epic piece on the everyman, accompanied by a live orchestral and electronic score, rather than if. Previews of Brand New Ancients have elicited cries of “incredible” from audiences ranging from Latitude to Edinburgh.
Spoken-word theatre is often heavy on words and light on theatre. Tempest’s piece follows these conventions, but transcends them. Just as in her narrative, the ordinary is lifted into the extraordinary; score, writing, band and voice come together to create a package that never makes you question why you aren’t just reading or listening to this. That’s because Tempest, fierce and shy in the same moment, is such a genuinely galvanising presence and acutely responsive to her audience. It matters that we are there; it matters that these stories are told. It matters that we listen.
We will be viewing (and reviewing) the show on 19th September, all other dates are sold out so get a move on and get your tickets for that afternoon or evening before you miss the opportunity to see one of spoken word’s most respected grow to wider loved proportions.