The multi-award-winning Latitude Festival returns to the stunning grounds of Henham Park, Suffolk, on 18th-21st July 2019 with an eclectic bill of music, comedy and arts, plus foodie feasts and family fun – it’s the definitive destination for discovery. In addition to its incredible comedy line-up, and the annual presentation of exceptional musical talent, Latitude Festival offers a vast range of arts content, including film, theatre, dance, literature, poetry and more.
In The Music & Film Arena, Emmy winner, BAFTA winner, and all-round screenwriting legend Richard Curtis joins Himesh Patel – the star of his new feel-good movie Yesterday – for a screening followed by a Q&A session with the British superstars. Richard Curtis said: “Yesterday was written in Suffolk, set in Suffolk, and begins and ends at Latitude. I’ve rarely missed a Latitude since it first began, and so I’m overjoyed to be bringing it home for a special screening at the festival. I’m also very much looking forward to the Q&A session afterwards, as long as it doesn’t mean people are missing something better while Himesh and I are chatting away.”
Leading film critic and Latitude regular Mark Kermode brings his new show based on his memoirs to the festival. In How Does It Feel: A Life of Musical Misadventures, Kermode recounts his utterly foolhardy attempts to fulfil his dreams of becoming a pop star – from building an electric guitar from scratch at school, to playing a tea-chest bass on the kids TV show Utterly Brilliant, and becoming the musical director of a major TV show – all without ever learning to read music. His hilarious tales range from falling in love with Slade as a teenager, and recording an album at Sun Studio as an ageing old ted.
THEATRE & DANCE
With the involvement of the country’s theatre and dance companies, Latitude has established itself as one of the leading and most innovative performing arts festivals. This year’s exciting programme profiles the complexity of modern society, from gender identity to mental health, environmental activism to reclaiming history; on offer is a diverse range of programming to evoke surprise, joy and debate. Expect the unexpected!
Celebrating their 25th birthday, Frantic Assembly kick off festivities by headlining the Theatre Arena with new show Sometimes Thinking – a celebration of the hours invested in daydreaming – written by Phil Porter especially for Latitude. The show that rocked Edinburgh and started a thousand conversations also comes to Latitude, Daughter presented by Quiptake, The Theatre Centre, and Pandemic Theatre, faces toxic masculinity head on, distilling it into the figure of one very funny, very engaging, very troubled man. Another theatre highlight is Historic Royal Palace’s riotous Long Live Queen James – a show which explores the extraordinary life of King James I: this historical tale of gender, identity, and sexuality is brought to life with a mix of storytelling, audience interaction and contemporary queer performances. Continuing the theme of reframing old narratives, Figs in Wigs present a work-in-progress performance of their apocalyptic feminist adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic, in Little Wimmin. Theatre Re return to the festival with Birth, a poignant and uplifting visual theatre piece exploring the bond between three generations of women and their shared loss.
Latitude is renowned for breaking new ground and has long nurtured pioneering gig-theatre companies. This year is no exception with some phenomenal shows, showcasing the very best of the genre as it takes over The Town Hall. Get your rave on as Nabokov make an explosive return with Suitman Jungle performed by percussionist Marc Pell (Mount Kimbie, Micachu & The Shapes). The show combines live drum ‘n’ bass, jungle beats and spoken word to tell the story of one man caught between the daily grind and his real passion – music. Roll up, Roll Up and Rock out as award-winning Not Too Tame also make a spectacular Latitude return, inviting the audience to experience their immersive work See How they Run, a helter-skelter piece inspired by characters from the songs of The Beatles. Hull’s most exciting theatre company Middle Child also return with their epic new show, The Canary and The Crow, a lyrical, semi-autobiographical piece from writer and performer Daniel Ward.
Latitude’s stunning Waterfront Stage is globally renowned for showcasing the best talent in dance productions and companies. This year the stage plays host to some stunning productions. Northern Ballet present celebrated choreographer Morgann Runacre-Temple’s first work for the company, an intimate and moving portrait of Nannerl Mozart, the talented yet overshadowed sister of Wolfgang Mozart, in The Kingdom of Back. Sadler’s Wells return to the Waterfront Stage for a twelfth year to present Jesús Carmona. A pioneer in flamenco’s evolution, Rambert, one of the world’s leading contemporary dance companies return to Latitude with a brand-new work by French choreographer Marion Motin, and BBC Young Dancer finalists. Dance Umbrella present contemporary trailblazer Oona Doherty who performs Hope Hunt, an explosive and viscerally intense piece which dramatically unpicks male identity. Another highlight is Boy Blue who return with REBEL, an exhilarating new dance and film production that captures the voices of young people with challenging questions around cultural identity.
LITERATURE, POETRY AND MORE
Latitude will feature an eclectic range of award-winning writers, poets and thinkers across the arts stages. The newly crowned UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage tops the poetry bill alongside Joe Dunthorne, best known as the novelist behind Submarine, and The Adulterants, set to perform pieces from his funny and dark debut poetry collection, O Positive. Also headlining is novelist, poet and playwright Deborah Levy, renowned for her witty and dark explorations of complex female relationships, and one of the most exciting new voices to emerge in print in the last decade. Wendy Cope, one of the nation’s best-loved poets makes a welcome return as a poetry headliner. Since her bestselling debut Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis was published in 1986, Wendy has been responsible for some of the best-known and most-quoted lines in contemporary poetry. Meanwhile, Max Porter, author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers, makes his Latitude debut to read from his second novel, Lanny.
The Women’s Prize For Fiction also return to The Speakeasy with Viv Groskop, Scarlet Curtis and Bernadine Evaristo, while The British Academy comes to the festival for the first time. Elsewhere performance poet extraordinaire Luke Wright makes a welcome return alongside World Poetry Slam Champion and Ted X speaker Harry Baker, and NCW Associate Artist Hannah Jane Walker presents her much-anticipated stage show Highly Sensitive.
At Latitude’s new podcast hub, The Listening Post, journalist, activist and writer Scarlett Curtis hosts Feminists Don’t Wear Pink, which features bold and pioneering women discussing what feminism means to them, and why it matters. Prepare for frank, honest and unfiltered conversation from incredible and outspoken women discussing the complexities, the triumphs and the challenges of being a feminist today. Scarlett Curtis said: “I grew up at Latitude and have been going every year since the age of 12 (including the year I was in a wheelchair!) it is a wonderful, magical place and the perfect location to talk about feminism!”
The Listening Post will also feature the gritty investigative journalism show The Tip Off, Ghibliotheque which leafs through the library of the world’s greatest animation studio Studio Ghibli, and in the Music & Film Arena, John Kennedy interviews a very special guest for a live edition of Tape Notes. Meanwhile, on the weekend of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landings, Latitude celebrates the science behind our relationship with space: In the Music & Film Arena, The Cosmic Shambles Network are proud to present a rare event with Helen Sharman OBE, the first British person in space and the first British astronaut, in conversation with Robin Ince, while The Space Shed in The Faraway Forest will feature programming inspired by humanity, the Moon and the climate crisis, including theatre, talks and workshops.
Weekend and day tickets for Latitude Festival 2019 are on sale now.