Recently awarded Best Major Festival by UK Festival Awards, Latitude Festival returns for its 13th edition, with an all-new look for 2018. Taking place as always at Henham Park in Suffolk, the festival will feature a refreshed programme and emboldened vision, retaining everything you loved about the festival, but also moving in an exciting new direction that looks to the future. The theatre line-up has been announced, and it’s an astonishing collection of shows covering all aspects of the theatrical arts.
Bryony Kimmings’ returns with her first solo show in nearly a decade, I’m A Phoenix, Bitch. A mythical legend performed straight from a heart still pulsing with pain. Combining personal stories with epic film, soundscapes and ethereal music – huge feats of physical strength will collide with the rumbling doom of toxic doubt.
Step into a 40ft container in the Faraway Forest, and the world falls away in David Rosenberg and Glenn Neath‘s Flight, an immersive, surreal theatre show that flips reality on its head.
You’ll discover time travel is real in Dom Coyote’s We Can Time Travel: Dom has been receiving messages from a Victorian Time Traveler, watching the sun die, at the edge of time. Join him for an experiment in Harmonic Time Theory, to prove once and for all, that Time Travel is not only possible, it’s already happened.
Middle Child – the company behind last year’s standout show All We Ever Wanted Was Everything – return for One Life Stand. When we can have sex whenever, however and with whomever we want, why settle for a regular relationship? With the promise of fresh excitement just a swipe away, is Kat’s long-term relationship really her lifelong dream? One Life Stand is a late-night search for intimacy across a hyperconnected and hypersexualised city, exposing the loneliness found inside modern relationships where the expectations of lust and the limits of love are ever changing.
All-male dance company BalletBoyz are set to return to Latitude with their new show Fourteen Days, where acclaimed choreographers including Craig Revel-Horwood and Christopher Wheeldon were given just fourteen days to work with world-renowned composers to make new commissions. New Adventures come to Latitude with an exclusive preview from their new show, as Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake returns with a fresh look for the 21st century, whilst retaining all the iconic elements of the original production loved by millions around the world. In a timely new contemporary show, Phoenix Dance Theatre explore the Caribbean immigrant experience, in Windrush: Movement of the People, where audiences will glimpse what the first generation of Caribbean immigrants experienced when they came to England 70 years ago.
Sadler’s Wells returns to the festival for a momentous 11th year to present a diverse programme of world-class dance in all its forms. In an exclusive preview from their forthcoming show, Sylvia, ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company combines dance, hip hop, soul and funk to shed new light on a remarkable story at the heart of the Suffragette movement. Sadler’s Wells will also present Nomadis from the Birmingham-based Humanhood; Volume 1 by New Adventures Choreographer Award-winner Jamaal Burkmar, performed by his company Extended Play; and Used To Be Blonde, the new show from Sharon Eyal, performed by the National Youth Dance Company.
Lost Dog‘s new show reveals through dance, theatre and comedy, the real story of Juliet and Romeo, wherein it turns out they didn’t die in a tragic misunderstanding… Crxss Platfxrm will introduce you to a new wave of Street Culture artists bringing fresh perspectives to dance, music, and live performance, curated by Ivan Blackstock and featuring Denzel Himself, Godson, Rawheed Collective and more. Festivalgoers can dance from day to night as Late Night DJs take over the Comedy Arena. Sing your heart out during Rave Karaoke andMassaoke, or join in on London’s biggest and best indie dance party Buttoned Down Disco. Guilty Pleasures brings all-girl Bruce Springsteen tribute, The She Street Band to the festival for the best night of your life, while over in Pandora’s Playground The Disco Shed returns for al fresco dancing late into the night.
Gate Theatre and English National Opera present Effigies of Wickedness has been added to the bill: a cabaret of riotous songs banned by the Nazis in the 1930s. Paines Plough and Birmingham Repertory Theatre premiere Anna Jordan‘s new play Pop Music, a new show produced in association with Latitude Festival. Master-puppeteers Blind Summit Theatre bring the UK premiere of Henry to the festival, while Three Sisters by RashDash, after Chekhov sees the award-winning feminist theatre and music makers take on Anton Chekhov’s revered play and reimagine it with electric guitars, in a festival-special gig-theatre edition. Action to the Word present the world premiere of The Theban Motherf**ker, their gig-theatre take on the most famous tragedy of all time – Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Also in The Cabaret Theatre, audiences can experience Just Like Real Life: a vivid and violent new work from theatre-makers Emma Attwood and Nick Finegan, that uses virtual reality to immerse the audience in their world. For another immersive experience, Dash Arts come to the festival with their Euro-Squat: inviting you into a provocative and compellingly essential vision of Europe. As part of Royal Opera House’s exciting season of outdoor summer events, Mozart’s Don Giovanni will be beamed to the Theatre Arena live from Trafalgar Square, where Marc Minkowski conducts a world-class cast led by Mariusz Kwiecień.
An eclectic range of award-winning writers, poets, podcasters and authors will perform in Latitude’s legendary SpeakEasy, including laureate of punk and reluctant national treasure John Cooper Clarke and nature writer Patrick Barkham. Travis Alabanza, a transfemme gender non-conforming performance artist, will perform work from his debut acclaimed chapbook Before I Go Outside [You Love me], while other spoken word performances include teacher turned battle rapper Mark Grist, poetry slam champion Daniel Piper, and more. Comedian and music nerd Gabriel Ebulue will bring his Three Trackpodcast to the festival where he and a guest will geek out over their musical tracks.
It’s going to be a pretty unforgettable weekend in The Cabaret Theatre, as Jonny Woo presents Gayzpacho and promises half-naked men wrestling in a tomato pit, go-go dancers, flamenco dancing and more, plus Duckie returns with their unique blend of pansy propaganda, and I Need Cher, the immersive cabaret show totally dedicated to Cher makes their Latitude debut.
For the first time ever, the legendary BBC Radio 4 show Gardeners’ Question Time (GQT) is coming to Latitude Festival. GQT will be setting up camp at the festival, quite literally, on Friday 13th July. Throughout the day GQT panelists will be found onsite in a retro camper van pop-up, offering the unique opportunity for festival-goers to put their gardening questions directly to GQT’s horticultural gurus. Questions will be recorded for a special edition of the programme from Latitude, to be broadcast on Radio 4.
New to Latitude is the Theatre of Food, a fully immersive essential for any foodie – or just your average keen eater – with cutting-edge recipe demonstrations from the hottest modern chefs, mixology master classes, and incredible food tastings. Culinary talents on the bill include forager, author and hawk flier, Gill Meller who is head chef at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage dominion, Sally Butcher of Peckham’s much-loved Persepolis, author of five books, and chef of the “veggiestan” corner-shop cafe, and award-winning author and Guardian food columnist, Felicity Cloake, whose A-Z of Eating was shortlisted for a James Beard award. Also on stage will be Jordan Bourke, the UK’s leading authority on Korean cuisine and author of a number of books, and contributor and panellist to many good food shows on the BBC and Channel 4. Theatre of Food also welcomes the world’s leading investigative food journalist, Joanna Blythman; healthy food mogul and founder of The Pure Package, Jennifer Irvine; plus Charlotte Pike, author of Fermented and Smoked, who will demonstrate their skills on the Anglia Factor designed kitchen stage, as well as demonstrations from Street Feast vendors Club Mexicana, Up In My Grill, and Yum Bun’s Lisa Meyer. Meanwhile outside the Theatre, Latitude will be showcasing Europe’s biggest Grill Festival in the Grill Pit area, with The Big Grill’s Andy Noonan and charcoal, fire-fiend friends. Local Suffolk food heroes will join the Theatre of Food cast, including chocolate guru Lynn Lockwood.
Across the festival, the Latitude bill showcases theatre in its most exciting guises with an unrivalled range of major shows, ground-breaking pieces and the first glance at works in progress. Pecho Mama will perform half play, half live concept albumMedea Electronica, Ovalhouse present Madi Maxwell-Libby’s debut show Massive Sense of Urgency, Bristol Ferment presents Hollering Woman Creek, Rachael Young embraces the cult of Grace Jones in Nightclubbing, Leeds Beckett present a multidisciplinary performance of Manifesto Move! and The Stephen Joseph Theatre present Build A Rocket by Chris York.
The Music and Film Arena welcomes back legendary filmmaker Asif Kapadia, who won an Oscar for Amy and a BAFTA for Senna, plus globally renowned for his visually striking documentaries, Kapadia is currently working on a series about another troubled genius Diego Maradona, and returns to Latitude in conversation with the UK’s leading film critic Mark Kermode. Mark Kermode will also bring a live version of his radio show “Celluloid Jukebox”, about movie music and the interplay between the sound and vision. And over in The Cabaret Theatre, Jack Rooke gives a comedy-storytelling of Love Letters, a show about shagging blokes whose ages span four different decades, all set to a live-harp accompaniment from acclaimed harpist Alexander Thomas.
Over at the SpeakEasy, Latitude attendees can immerse themselves in lively debate and discussion from the brightest voices. TV presenter Reggie Yates will discuss his life as a documentary filmmaker – and a pretty fearless one at that – where he has truly been making his mark, investigating everything from gun crime in Chicago, to life as a refugee in Iraq. Award-winning comedian Adam Kay joins the line up to read from his book This Is Going To Hurt, the hilarious yet horrifying, and occasionally heartbreaking diaries of his former life as junior doctor and why he decided to hang up his stethoscope. Sky At Night’s Chris Lintott, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford, gives Latitude attendees A Tour Of The Universe and stargazing experience with the audience, the project that has involved more than a million people in exploring the Universe. Mixing comedy with science Latitude stalwart Robin Ince is trying to understand physics again while his friend Brian Cox is on a “pointing at the mountaintops” retreat, while Sabrina Mahfouz reads her insightful poetry.
Comedian Russell Kane brings his twisted BBC podcast “Evil Genius” to the festival, which sees the stand-up comedian joined by a panel of Latitude friends to delve into the darker, lesser-known sides of some of the world’s cultural icons. BBC Radio 3’s The Verb, featuring the best poetry, new writing, performance, and hosted by Ian McMillan makes a welcome return, and as previously announced, Jessie Ware’s chart-topping podcast “Table Manners” comes live at Latitude with Jessie and her mum Lennie swapping the kitchen table for the SpeakEasy, and they will be joined by Adam Buxton. The follow-up to the number one Sunday Times bestseller Reasons to Stay Alive, Matt Haig comes to the SpeakEasy for a very special reading of “Notes On A Nervous Planet”, and comedian and activist Jack Rooke has been added to chair the “Modern Love“ debate with the previously announced Joel Dommett, Dolly Alderton and Justin Myers (The GuyLiner).
Women’s Prize for Fiction will be returning to Latitude for a third year to and present Who owns the New Feminism with an exceptional panel of inspiring women including prize co-founder and bestselling novelist Kate Mosse, award-winning author, activist and “Queen of Teen” Juno Dawson, writer, broadcaster, reviewer and classicist Natalie Haynes, Sunday Times best-selling author and co-presenter of The High Low Podcast Dolly Alderton, and award-winning author and broadcaster June Sarpong MBE.
Renowned for its diverse and awe-inspiring dance programme, Latitude welcomes some phenomenal new additions to the stunning Waterfront including Atomos, a work by cutting-edge contemporary choreographer Wayne McGregor where ten incredible dancers will perform McGregor’s sculptural, rigorous, jarring and hauntingly beautiful style, and a glorious duet from their new show Autobiography. Energetic, creative and full of individuality, Old Kent Road’s infectious tapdancing make their Latitude debut, and will transport you back to the 1930s when dancers would improvise, jam, and battle on street corners. The Kings of Bhangra – 4×4 Dancers also perform with their must-see colourful high octane, world-renowned acrobatic dance show with live drumming and vocals.
Bristling with creativity and flair, Latitude’s theatre programme adds Boys, presented by The PappyShow. It’s a wonderful and joyful exploration of manhood by a cast of eight men of colour whose families span the world. Also added is Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, where a bunch of improvisers who have learned how to make up a fully-realised musical on the spot based on audience suggestions. It includes incredible, moving story-lines, amazing songs, full group harmonies, dance numbers.
Lil.Miss.Lady is HighRise’s fresh concept-rave exploring the history of Grime music, through the eyes of a vigorous female MC. Inspired by a series of interviews with influential players in the Grime scene including MC’s, DJ’s, promoters and journalists Lil.Miss.Lady celebrates Grime, its women and holds a bass-fuelled microscope over the biggest sub-culture since Punk Rock in the 80s.
In London, in the year 2138, only very busy people survive, in How To Fail At Being Perfect. These people don’t have time to raise their own children. But every now and then, they feel they need a child. Where do the people of London go when the need for a child arises? They go to Neverland Enterprise! C.E.O. Peter Pan and his fierce assistant Tinkerbell train the perfect lease children for every occasion… A wise and witty musical look at adulthood and parenting through the eyes of forever children, it asks should we all aim for perfection or would we be happier just saying you’.
Witness the epic musical odyssey The Lost Disc, a riotous search for the holy grail of recorded music, directed by Tom Parry, written and performed by Will Adamsdale and Ed Gaughan, and starring Victoria Elliott and Andrew Buckely with a full live score from cult favourites The London Snorkelling Team. A quest for the legendary tape of three of the 20th Century’s finest forgotten musicians, The Lost Disc is.part gig, part play, part comedy show, and an alternative history of popular music.
Balaklava Blues is a new concert/theatre performance about contemporary Ukraine. The piece is created and performed by Mark and Marichka Marczyk, the real-life couple who created the sensational ‘Counting Sheep’ in 2016. Balaklava Blues is the Marczyks’ exploration of the historical and cultural forces that shape today’s Ukraine and have led to the ongoing war in the country’s east. It will be told through folk music in electronic mixes, archival and current video footage, and communist cartoons.
A rhythmic, brass-flavoured snapshot of London’s fading nightclub scene, Last Night is a boundary-pushing spoken word and music experience from the critically acclaimed band Benin City, produced by cross-art form company nabokov. Music from the band’s second album is performed live, alongside poetry and audio interviews from various London dwellers, including DJs, property developers, barmen, and of course, the ravers.
A Belgian popstar moves to London to steal the job of British popstars. Luckily, austerity is here to stop her. Nele Needs A Holiday: The Musical is a tongue-in-cheek Pop Opera about a girl called Nele who turns her life into a big international mess because she wants be famous on the other side of the English Channel. It’s a rags-to-more-rags story showing the magnificent relieve of grandiose failure in love, life, and a so-called career.
Paris De Nuit by Recirquel Contemporary Circus takes its audience into the roaring variety life of the 30s filled with its voluptuous desires and beauty. Revealing illusionary moments from the lives of prostitutes and peddlers, down and outs and illicit lovers who lived on the edges of society, it provides Aan evening of lust, love and loneliness inspired by the characteristic world of the famous Hungarian photographer, Brassaï. Stunning circus artists, dancers and musicians bring the decadent but loveable secret Paris nights of the 1930s to life.
“Remember P.E. kit”, “cancel free trial”, “don’t forget to call mum” – everyone writes instructions to their future selves. But what happens if the future starts writing back? Rosy Carrick is about to find out in Passionate Machine. Featuring a diverse cast of real-life characters including David Bowie, Vladimir Mayakovsky and Rocky Balboa, and set against the questionable theoretical framework of all your favourite time travel movies, this solo performance blends fact and fiction to create an exhilarating story about letting go, having the courage to take the untrodden path, and finding yourself – literally.
Velvet Petal is the fresh new work from Scottish Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Fleur Darkin, inspired by the life-cycle of the monarch butterfly and Robert Mapplethorpe’s polaroids. Set to a fresh dance-punk score arranged by Torben Lars Sylvest including music by LCD Soundsystem, Spoek Mathambo, and Abul Mogard
Using Theatre Ad Infinitum’s signature style of physical theatre, cabaret and verbatim stories, No Kids is a personal exploration and theatrical debate by the company’s co-artistic directors, and real-life couple, Nir Paldi and George Mann, asking: should gay couples go out of their way to reproduce?
Internationally acclaimed artist Charming Baker also joins the bill, in conversation with Sky Arts’ Kate Bryan, judge of Sky Arts’ Portrait Artist of the Year. Charming appears at Latitude following his acclaimed show ‘ALL THIS IS YOURS’ at prestigious London gallery Jealous East, featuring Baker’s beautifully intricate graphite duckling drawings alongside his 30ft upside-down toy aeroplane sculpture.
Meanwhile, The Cabaret Theatre will see shenanigans from Sheeps, Desiree Burch,Emma Sidi, Jake Lambert, Jen Brister, Ed Night, Jack Barry, Maisie Adam, Amy Annette, Joanne McNally, and Kinetic Comedy.