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Lashings of Drama at Latitude

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Festivals in England, especially outdoor ones, tend to be music-based. Suffolk's own Latitude, this year running from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 July at Henham Park, Southwold, offers a feast of theatre as well.

That's apart from cabaret, music which ranges from the Pet Shop Boys to the Britten Sinfonia and (very appropriately for the Waterfront Stage) Sadler's Wells Ballet with the second act of Swan Lake. There's a full children's programme as well, including Cambridge Touring Theatre's adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.

Companies and plays which are either heading north towards Edinburgh or about to start on major tours of our region's theatres include Nabokov with Is Everyone Okay?, English Touring Theatre's collaboration with the Young Vic for the musical Been So Long and Paine's Plough's Traces. This comes from the six writers who form Future Perfect, the programme for new playwrights. Hoi Polloi offer a new Hugh Hughes piece as part of the Pleasance segment.

Urban Sprawl is the Theatre 503 offering, derived from their London production Urban Scrawl. This company has an association with Colchester's Mercury Theatre which is performing a revival of Catastrophic Sex Music, seen at both houses earlier this year. Some of Saki's short stories go to make up Wolves at the Window from Toby Davies and the Fledgling company and there's an intriguing variation on the current National Theatre production of All's Well That Ends Well in the shape of Lucinda Coxon's The Eternal Not.

Third Eye Theatre Company and producer Sim Reeve are involved in a new film version of the story of the mutiny on "HMS Bounty". The screenplay for this is still under construction and could be affected by audience reaction's to its staging. Elements of audience participation, though a far cry from pantomime, are involved with Osip Theatre's A Stab in the Dark, based on interviews and concerned with the loss of virginity.

East Anglia was infamous in the 17th century for its trials of so-called witches, many master minded by the equally notorious Matthew Hopkins, self-proclaimed Witchfinder General. The Suffolk Trial Society have collaborated with the Royal Shakespeare Company in a show which investigates a rash of such convictions in 1645 and their grisly aftermath, If you then need light relief, you may find it when Dazzle Corporation presents The National Undisputed Government-Sponsored Teenager of the Year.

That must surely be worth the prize for longest and daftest title of the year, if anyone's thinking of offering such an award...


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