In a usually empty corner of Suffolk, an atmosphere of revelry, carnival and wonder will be evoked on a summer’s weekend this month. Celebrating its tenth anniversary is Latitude, a festival that is not only renowned for its music but also its innovative theatrical performances.

Performing theatre at festivals is not without its challenges. Your audience has not paid specifically to see your work, they may be wandering in to shelter from the cold and rain, or they may be just a touch inebriated. However, a curious and slightly intoxicated audience has its advantages – they are more open to new ideas, you can test new spaces and a diverse line-up surrounds you up.

A Younger Theatre has selected the best of theatre from Latitude’s Theatre Arena below.

3rd August 2014. pop present Chef  as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014. Big Belly Underbelly

Image credit: Richard Davenport

Sabrina Mahfouz Chef
Friday 17 July

With Latitude swarming with organic food stalls and tasty treats galore, the Theatre Arena is serving up something a little different with Chef by Sabrina Mahfouz starring Jade Anouka. Performing for the first time at Latitude, Chef tells the tale of how one woman went from a haute-cuisine head-chef to a convicted inmate running a prison kitchen.

For Anouka the chance of an opportune diner is what makes the festival so exhilarating: “Excitingly that may mean there will be many people who stumble on to your performance, and if they enjoy it that’s great. The show itself won’t change, I do engage with the audience and a festival crowd may feel different.”

If you want to catch up behind the scenes with Anouka it may be worth taking note of her own food choices… ““I’ll be straight to the jerk chicken stand.

“Pie and mash I must find pie and mash too, do you think they’ll be roti? If there’s roti I’ll have some of that please…”

To find out more click here.

Blind Man's Song, Edinburgh Fringe 2015, courtesy Francois Verbeek 7

Image: Francois Verbeek

Theatre Re Blind Man’s Song
Saturday 18 July

Fresh from a sell-out run at the 2015 London International Mime Festival, Theatre Re is at Latitude to showcase Blind Man’s Song. A tale entirely told through the power of the body, it portrays one man’s rage against his world of darkness. The performance is not just restricted to mime however, as director Gullieme Pigé points out:

“It is a very physical and visual piece of theatre; it is a concert and a performance, and we use everything from magic illusions to live sound design to tell our story and blur the boundaries between art forms.”

The work is inspired by the paintings of René Magritte, the dead-end world of Samuel Beckett and interviews with blind and visually-impaired people, and has been received with critical acclaim.

Performing in a field to festival goers will be quite a change, but is one that Pigé is looking forward to: “I anticipate that people will come and see us with little or no expectation and it will be down to us to make them stay in the room.

“That is the great thing about festivals, if you are not happy with what you are seeing and hearing then it is absolutely fine to leave and go check out something else. That will give us an extra little kick!”

To find out more click here.

Fake It Till You Make it Production Photos

Fake It Till You Make it Production Photos

Bryony Kimmings & Tim Grayburn Fake It ‘Til You Make It: Special Latitude Edition
Sunday 19 July

With festivals usually associated with hedonistic excess, a play about depression could sound paradoxical. Not to Bryony Kimmings and her partner, Tim Grayburn. For Kimmings, “The crowd are cold, knackered but more open and hopeful. The festival fatigue creates generous open hearts.

“It’s easier to move them. The show is raw because the tech is basic and you have to be more honest and open as a performer laid that bare and the spaces are normally noisy and dirty… again it all makes for a more open and honest affair. I really love festivals, something magic happens.”

Exploring clinical depression through Grayburn’s personal story, the pair uses homemade music, stupid dancing, onstage arguments, real-life stories, tears and truths to interrogate what it means to be a “real man”.

To find out more click here.

MAN UP at Latitude Trailer from Frantic Assembly on Vimeo.

Frantic Assembly Man Up
Friday 17 July

Inga Hirst from Frantic Assembly promises with the performance of Man Up: “After 45 minutes of witnessing the talent, athleticism, humour, bravery, and honesty of our 12 performers, audiences are going explode out of the tent buzzing and up for their festival weekend.”

With such a recommendation, and the fact it is the only chance to catch this never to be performed again show, Man Up, seems to set to be an exhilarating performance investigating the pressures of being a young man today.

The twelve 16-20-year-olds are Latitude first-timers and Hirst says: “We can’t wait to be a part of the artists and audiences from all over the world coming together in one field for a very special weekend of cultural experiences and encounters.”

To find out more click here.


Kneehigh 946
Sunday 19 July

The renowned Cornish theatre company, Kneehigh, is also gracing Latitude’s fields for the first time this year. Bringing a work-in-progress showing of their brand new theatre show, 946 that has been adapted by Michael Morpurgo and Kneehigh Artistic Director Emma Rice, from Morpurgo’s own book The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips. 

Mike Shepherd, joint Artistic Director of Kneehigh on 946 at Latitude said: “We’ve never been to Latitude, have always wanted to and are very excited. It will be an adventure for us to travel from the wilds of Cornwall with a brand new show in it’s final stages of rehearsal before we go into full production.

“May the sun shine and the good times roll!”

To find out more click here.