Katie Tempest- Brand New Ancients @ BAC

Katie Tempest creates a demanding and compassionate piece of work that asks the audience to re-evaluate how they live. She agonises at the modern fascination with celebrity culture and gives Simon Cowell a particularly scouring appraisal as a pioneer of this attitude. In her story she creates a new culture of praising the old heroic values. The tension of her task is caste in her paradoxical title of creating a new ancient. She cleverly seeks strength in the history of humanity and her spoken-word epic seeks out simply to find an ancient, mythical strength in us all.

Her characters seem particularly doomed and devoid of empathy, but Katie runs through a series of Pandoric events, catalysed by an extra-marital affair. The story follows the ordinarily-heroic lives of two half-brothers who struggle through the world and we see their fates move closer and closer.

Kate Tempest in Brand New Ancients.

Katie explores the characters temperaments and pace of their parallel lives with the control of her voice, complemented nicely by her band’s accompaniments. Blue light also gives a dramatic tension to the whole show.

Her interaction with the audience and clearly improvised chatter shows a new confidence in the young and talented artist. She demands attention when performing and I hope to see more of her in the future.

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