Latitude Festival returns to England’s Sunrise Coast once again this year. Taking place on 16th – 19th July, near Suffolk’s seaside town of Southwold, organisers Festival Republic are promising Latitude will be the perfect British summer destination.
Now in its fourth edition Latitude aims to inspire and innovate offering the very best from the worlds of music, film, comedy, theatre, cabaret, dance, poetry, literature and art. With stunning individual performance spaces dedicated to each of the arts, the arenas are treasure troves of talent, with open doors and inviting atmospheres. Sit back and be entertained by over 700 performers or participate and learn a new skill in the many workshops on offer, there are new experiences round every corner. Latitude encourages you to open your mind, embrace the unknown and try everything; a fun-filled, cultural adventure by the sea; the ideal weekend away.
This year Theatre503 is going underground to bring Latitude audiences a unique take on London, as observed by a clutch of the most talented writers around. Throughout 2009, Urban Scrawl is giving audiences an extraordinary journey through the capital: a total of 53 new plays, each inspired by a different stop on the Piccadilly Line, carving their way through the beating heart of the city. Now Urban Scrawl becomes Urban Sprawl, as Theatre503 brings a selection of these diverse and delicious dramas out of the dark and into the bright lights of Latitude. Urban Scrawl is a collaboration between TheatreVOICE, Rose Bruford College and Theatre503.
Under the tutelage of the late maverick and genius Ken Campbell, the acclaimed School Of Night performances have become highlights of the theatre circuit. Reviving Walter Raleigh’s clandestine and mysterious sect of underground artists and thinkers for the 21st Century, School Of Night improvise plays and poems from any period of history and perform them in modern styles. It has been known to explore Elizabethan humours and examine great acting via master classes on gastromancy. Last year’s School Of Night was sadly Ken Campbell’s last live School Of Night performance and it is in his spirit that it returns with original cast member Josh Darcy and a surprise new host for the hardcore, extreme improvisation show.
Mercury Theatre Company presents Catastrophic Sex Music. Described as 'Smash Hits on acid' this short, sharp new work directed by Janice Dunn and written by 22 year old up-and-coming playwright Bysshe Coffey is greatly influenced by, yet still challenges the great works from Joyce, Homer, Ovid and Shakespeare. Coffey has written this heady violent work for his generation and his poetry speaks to many age groups and explains it as 'the uncensored thoughts of the bladder of my mind'.
Having recently been a huge success at the Royal Court Theatre, the touring show of Look Left Look Right stops off at Latitude this July. In 2007, parts of England were devastated by torrential rain and flash floods forced thousands to leave their homes and seek refuge with friends or relatives. Others opted to stay in their mobile homes and caravans while they waited for the insurance to sort out their damages. Alas, many unlucky people are still in their alternative abodes caught up in bureaucratic nightmares with no end in sight. It’s this backdrop that young theatre company Look Left Look Right present The Caravan – following months of research and interviews, fascinating memories and moving accounts are reproduced from those people worst affected. These interviews are re-enacted by actors, word for word, alongside visual and audio footage inside the caravan.
Oxford’s centre of performing arts, Chipping Norton Theatre, will be presenting ‘PLAY’ which brings together some of the country’s most exciting new playwrights with an eclectic range of musicians, composers and people who make strange sounds with computers. At the meeting point of words and music, of story and song, PLAY blends theatre with live and recorded music, adds a slug of Tabasco and heats it to boiling point. As well as being a fabulous space for many touring companies and their eclectic range of productions Chipping Norton Theatre was and still is famed for their annual Christmas pantomimes. Family fun and great entertainment is what this theatre is all about so expect the best from one of the regions most respected companies.
Courtesy of Latitude’s local theatre company Mouth To Mouth, Artistic Director James Holloway brings The Taming Of The Shrew to life at Latitude. Mouth To Mouth is now the resident company at the New Cut Arts Centre in Halesworth, Suffolk, but they are still braving British summer weather to bring Shakespeare’s works to every corner of rural East Anglia. After their success with Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merry Wives of Windsor at previous editions of the festival, the company bring their idiosyncratic and crazy take on playing the bard back this year.
Performance band Leonard will be bringing their brilliant ‘Grass’ production to Latitude. Imagine the love child of John Cage and Johnny Rotten, they’re a band that use performance and event organisation to make environmental and social issues less abstract, less daunting and more human. Leonard do this by mixing science and politics together with popular culture and local places in a theatrical performance or live art event. For the past two years Leonard have been diligently researching the most incredible substance on planet earth: grass. The grass under your feet and that you’ll touch 223,786 times in your life before you die. The wealth of information gathered from politicians, scientists, garden centres, pole vaulters and dogs is transformed into the most surprising live archive. They pour out the secrets of grass and perhaps the world will never be the same again.
Silly dance routines, jokes firmly rooted in the gutter and surrealist hi jinx, The Grandees are flying the flag for hilarious absurdity and indecency. Their energetic leaping and larking about is held together with tight script writing, spotless acting and a serious commitment to tomfoolery; pure comedy entertainment with character based humour and a cast that is willing to push the boundaries. Dispel your disbelief and be prepared to be whipped up into fantasy frenzy when they bring The Box Of Cricks to Latitude.
Shortlisted for the Oxford Samuel Beckett Award last year, physical theatre ensemble Tangled Feet bring their unique show ‘Home’ to Latitude. Using physicality, image, music, comedy and atmosphere to create truly ‘live’ theatre, Tangled Feet explore the different structures a home can take. Is home a place, a language, a network of people, or a four-walled structure? How fragile is the membrane between home and the rest of the world? Tangled Feet aim to push the boundaries of what theatre can be, to make bold performances that inspire thought and question and which encourage people to look at familiar things in new ways. Whether home is a mansion, a shack, or a tent, we all strive to protect the place of safety that we’ve created.
Box of Tricks are a thriving theatre company committed to developing and producing the best new work around; discovering, nurturing and promoting the next generation of new playwrights. Drawn to plays that have an immediacy and relevance today, they tell stories that need to be told, of the voices that need to be heard. Box of Tricks presents ‘The Captain of the School Football Team’ by Kenneth Emson, a new one-act play specially developed for Latitude. Amid the prefect badges, school blazers and empty B&H packets, a secret lurks that will send shivers down the spine of a small community. Kev goes out with Lisa, Lisa lives down the same road as Jack, and Jack hangs out with Ben. But on a warm sunny day, when they should have been at school, events take a darker turn and it’s no longer just a laugh.
‘Cricket Bats Unite’ is a theatrical comedy play by a group called the Time Cats written by Tim Price and starring Sophie Wu and Emily Beecham. It includes a puppeteer as well as songs and originally two folk musicians and of course a bull dog. It’s a sort of female Mighty Boosh doing a political satire with a special appearance by some cricket bats. The Time Cats are from outer space, intent on finding out how this world got into a pickle. They go undercover at Carls (an embittered marionette) Fruit and Veg emporium. Drastic government legislation and a love triangle follow.
Romance. Swordfights. Potions. Tragically slow messengers. Locals to Latitude, The Pantaloons, give Shakespeare's tale of ill-fated love a fresh twist in the open-air. With a small cast of five, The Pantaloons produce this fast paced production of Shakespeare’s classic love story. Using lots of audience interaction, original music and contemporary references, Romeo and Juliet is made accessible for everyone in this hysterical and yet truly touching interpretation. Broadway Baby exclaimed “Without doubt the funniest production of Romeo and Juliet I have ever seen.”
The art of conversation; the power of speech and the beauty of talk are all explored by the The Dialogue Project, a unique collective who create unforgettable experiences in inspiring spaces. If you take an early morning meander through Latitude’s woodland you’ll open your ears to a series of intimate, private explorations of the mind through moving and honest recorded conversations by everyday people. Happiness, joy, sorrow, heartache – it’s all laid bare, given the room and space to be heard and understood. It can be so hard to say what you’re feeling and to articulate emotions; The Dialogue Project actively encourages free-flowing words and thoughts bringing private conversations into the public domain and this year we will be talking about friendship.
They join extraordinary musical theatre from Sharpwire, the mind-boggling beat-box orchestral brilliance from Shlomo, eerie visual theatre from Faulty Optic and family fun from the Cambridge Touring Theatre.
Renowned theatre, television and film actor and performer Roger Lloyd Pack has been added to the Poetry Arena. 'The heap of broken images' that is our world: T. S Eliot's masterpiece, The Waste Land, investigating the emotional and spiritual desert of the West, is read by Roger Lloyd Pack, with cello accompaniment by Melissa Phelps.
Nathan Filer is a comic poet and film-maker with a penchant for playfully convoluted narratives and surgically struck rhyme. His poetry has been broadcast on BBC 3, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 7. His short films have received wide acclaim and won top awards at film festivals around the world including the Audience Choice Award at Toronto's World of Comedy Film Festival and the BBC Best New Film-maker Award. He also performs live at literary festivals and events across the UK.
Luke Wright is co-programmer of Latitude's Stand-up Poetry Arena and its main host. This year he will be bringing a wealth of new talent including Yanny Mac, Kate Fox, Aoife Mannix, Baba Brinkman, Byron Vincent, Caroline Bird, Drew Taylor, Joe Hakim, John Osbourne, Martin Figura, Molly Naylor, Patrick Lappin, Rhian Edwards, Ruby And Her Whorses, Excentral Tempest, MC Angel, Tamsin Kendrick, Tim Turnbull, and Josh Idehen.
Latitude celebrates the art of the written word and all its many splendid facets at Suffolk’s now legendary library by the sea. Like all good books, the Literary Arena will transport you to the far reaches of your imagination guided by the storytelling talents of the very best authors and special guests scheduled for the weekend. Discussions, Q&As, stories and comic genius are the order of the day for these book readings with a difference. Immerse yourself in Latitude’s literary world and learn, explore, laugh and discover at the best literary event of the summer.
Writer, presenter and comic Mark Steel ponders the large and looming questions hanging over the country in his bitingly funny book ‘What’s Going On’. Disillusioned with the Socialist Workers Party - of which he has spent most of his life committed to - and entering his forties, Mark has found himself questioning life and all its inherent issues and problems. Digging into the heart of Britain and the troubles it suffers today, Mark wonders why over a million people marching in London couldn't stop the war in Iraq, why supermarkets are killing the small town centres of Britain and why George Galloway went on Celebrity Big Brother destroying any political credibility he may have had in the blink of a cat's eye. Poignant and sharply observed and very much of the moment, this is Mark Steel at his brilliantly intelligent best.
Tokyo based David Peace is famous for his Yorkshire Ripper inspired quartet of crime books ‘Red Riding’ which led him to be named by Granta magazine as one of twenty 'Best of Young British Novelists' in 2003. His fictional portrayal of the miner’s strike ‘GB84’ was the winner of the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize and his 2006 book ‘The Damned Utd’, a recreation of Brian Clough’s reign at Leeds United has just been released on film and was described by The Times as “probably the best book ever written about sport”. Peace is currently working on his Tokyo Trilogy thriller.
Human Rights lawyer and activist Clive Stafford-Smith is known for his work in civil rights, defending death penalty cases in the USA and detainees at Guantanamo Bay. He was awarded the OBE in 2000 for humanitarian services in the legal field and in 2005 he received the Gandhi International Peace Award. Stafford-Smith is also the Legal Director of the UK branch of the not-for-profit organisation Reprieve and has written articles for Guardian and New Statesman. He has written two books: ‘Bad Men: Guantanamo Bay and the Secret Prisons’ and ‘The Eight O’Clock Ferry To the Winward Side: Fighting The Lawless World of Guantanamo Bay’.
Journalist, author, script-writer, and producer Danny Wallace will be reading from his latest offering 'Friends Like These'. About to turn thirty, his life has become a cliche… suddenly finding himself living in a smart new area of town, he’s swapped pints down the pub for lattes and brunch. He owns a shed. He has display cushions. And then one day he finds an old address book from his childhood. And he starts to wonder where his old friends are now… and whether, if he tracked them down - wherever they are - and turned up on the doorstep… what they’d say if he asked them whether they were coming out to play…
‘Political Animal’: Hosted by Andy Zaltzman & Guests is a welcomed addition to the Literary Arena. Featuring cutting-edge satire from an exciting mix of new and more established stand-up comics, ‘Political Animal’ is an incisive, unpredictable, and richly entertaining show, offering political comedy which reaches far beyond the bounds of Westminster into the broader issues which shape the world today. ‘Political Animal’ can normally be found on Radio 4 hosted by John Oliver (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and Andy Zaltzman (The Late Edition, writer Bremner, Bird and Fortune).
if.comedy award nominee Russell Kane brings his fantastic ‘Fakespeare’ show ‘The Lamentable Tragedies of Yates's Wine Lodge’ to the Literary Arena. Imagine if everyone in Southend-on-Sea spoke in Shakespearean English conversing in beautiful poetic language about drinking, sex and the chippy. As featured on the Paramount Comedy Channel as well as the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon for one night; this four-man piece is a blank verse tale of love, Bacardi Breezers, and tragedies set in Essex’s classiest seaside town. Kane won the Laughing Horse New Act Of The Year Award in 2004.
The bittersweet story of a young checkout girl's rise to fame, Supermarket Supermodel is prize-winning playwright Jim Cartwright's first foray into novel-writing. Bearing the hallmarks of his best-loved plays, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and Road, this rollicking debut takes you on an intoxicating journey, brimming with life, heartbreak and humour. Cartwright's plays are consistently performed around the world, where they have won numerous awards and have been translated into 30 languages.
On his first trip to Mexico, acclaimed travel writer Hugh Thomson was told by a stranger he could make money buying a car over the Texas border and taking it thousands of miles through the country to sell on the black market in Central America. What did it matter that he didn’t have a driving licence? He was eighteen years old, far from home and with time to kill. It sounded like the most sensible plan in the world…. A rock and roll adventure. Considered as a writer that explores and not an explorer that writes, Hugh Thomson, the author of ‘The White Rock’ and ‘Nanda Devi’, has led many significant expeditions to Peru and the Himalayas and also paved his success through his BBC award winning documentaries. The Independent has described him as 'Bruce Chatwin with cojones'.
The Guardian have claimed Dan Rhodes as the "best new writer in Britain" and with his book 'Anthropology and A Hundred Other Stories' it's easy to see why. A series of 101 tales about girlfriends and the men who can't let them go. They cheat, they die, they leave, they name their daughters 'Lesbian', Rhodes has created a unique and macabre cycle of short musings on passion, woe, heartbreak and love in all of its many forms. Stories range from all-encompassing love, misguided affection and bitter sadness. The Times declared it "a strange world of joy, tragedy and cruelty…essential for anyone who has ever been in love."
Discover why you might already have a mind-bending parasite lodged in your brain, listen to the music of the stars, and learn to shoot flames with custard powder in the chemistry kitchen. Demonstrations from Guerilla Science use art to inspire and educate, and explore the universe with performances over a three day programme including workshops on Quantum Mechanics, Anomalistic Psychology, The Evolution of Music, Mastering Memory and Beat Boxing.
They join an already incredible line-up featuring The School Of Life, Robin Ince’s Book Club, Blake Morrison, Geoff Dyer plus many more.
Music & Film Arena
Comma Film is a new, cross-disciplinary initiative developed by Manchester-based publishing house, Comma Press. Throughout the year Comma sets an on-going challenge to aspiring filmmakers to adapt and interpret short literary texts (published poems and short stories) with the full agreement of the writers as well as the freedom to do so in any style and without the authors’ interference. The results range from stop-frame animation to mockumentary, lens-less CG animation to experimental dramas. The authors featured include Hanif Kureishi, John Cooper Clarke, Brian Patten, Joolz Denby and David Constantine. Filmmakers include Gwendolen Osmond, Lisa Risbec, Scott Davenport, Sharon Keighley, and Sami Khan. This event showcases the best of the first year’s work with a live reading by poet Gaia Holmes and a Q&A with award-winning filmmaker Kate Jessop.
What happens at the accidental meeting of inkblots, photocopies, cardboard, angle-poise lamps, the occasional table, video technology, a laptop and a banana box? A cast of hand-drawn marionettes magically brought to life by The Paper Cinema. Around 100 two-dimensional, highly detailed puppets and pieces of scenery have been hand-drawn. Kieron Maguire uses everything from spine-chilling sound effects to the flamenco guitar to create the soundtrack to creator Nic Rawling's illustrations. The Paper Cinema was born of the Bournemouth music scene, initially providing live visuals to flit behind live music at gigs and festivals, recently becoming a cult hit at Glastonbury, Edinburgh and Latitude, and going on to play in a variety of venues across the country.
Theses manic engaging kids are the ones to look out for this year causing a storm with sell out shows across the UK and Europe. Tipped by critics to be the next big thing, enthralling, passionate and uncompromising performers, The Manic Chanteuse Patti Plinko and her Boy have been receiving rave 5 star reviews for their highly original, eccentric, seductive vocal delivery and satirical performance. Likened to greats such as Tom Waits, Billie Holliday, Kurt Cobain & Edith Piaf. Intense stage performance between singer and Boy seethes within a warped highly addictive dark world of art, sex and death.
Music & Film Arena