Here at The Drama Student, the Latitude website has been one of our most visited bookmarked sites for months now, we're following them on Facebook and Twitter and we devour each new press release that drops into our inbox from the lovely Anthea at Press Counsel. Pass by our offices and you'll hear excited squeals every few minutes as yet another act, or artist is confirmed.
“Oooh, Nigel Kennedy is playing on the opening night!”
“The Bush Theatre are doing a piece about The Great British Summer Fete”
“Do you think Josie Long will bring the cast of Skins with her”
Oh yes, it's all about the high art for us. Cough.
Yes, yes, we know, it's sold out, and plenty of you haven't got a ticket. There are still some doing the rounds on the official Latitude ticket resale site the last time we looked, viagogo.com, but for most of you, you will, unfortunately miss out on this inimitable fixture.
So, maybe a pick of what The DS team are choosing as their personal highlights doesn't really enthral you too much? Well, certainly, this hand selected top ten will only really appeal to those of you who are lucky enough to be heading down to Suffolk for this weekend, but for the rest of you, never fear – The Drama Student will be reporting directly from the festival. We'll be blogging from the site all this weekend, talking to actors, directors, festival goers and uploading photographs, vox-pops and videos. It will feel like you're right there with us. And if, like last year, there's a thunderstorm, then you can feel all smug reading about it from the safety of your armchair, while we bale out our tents and lose our wellingtons in the mud. Who'll be laughing then, eh?
If you are going to Latitude this year though, keep an eye out for The Drama Student team. We'll be lurking somewhere round the theatre tent, come and say hi and let us know how you're enjoying the festival. If you want to stalk us, then here's our top ten list of unmissable events this year.
Photo: Paul Wesley Griggs
The Thirteen Midnight Challenges of Angelus Diablo – written by Carl Groes who is known for his work with Kneehigh, the Royal Shakespeare Company are telling us it's a bit like a flashmob performance. The only other thing they'll say is that it's got a pig in a dress. The RSC is always unmissable at Latitude, and this year we'll be watching them closely. The RSC are also, for the first time, running workshops for the younger festival goer, helping them to understand the work of the RSC and involve them in writing and crafting workshops.
Tiny Volcanoes by Lawrence Wilson, presented by Paines Plough, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. What is broken Britain? What has happened to our green and pleasant land? What are the tiny volcanoes that bubble under the surface of our society? Where did it all go wrong? Two actors take us on a journey through our society, asking and hopefully answering these questions along the way. With hymns. Oh, yes.
The Experiment Somebody has experimented on a child. Well, we're up for a bit of creepy theatre. Particularly when you've got to wander through a forest at night to find your way back to the tent. Mark Ravenhill's The Experiment, presented by The Soho Theatre, promises to unnerve even the bravest theatre writer, and we're looking forward to the seeing the great man himself perform this monologue.
A Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare in the outdoors. We're big fans of The Lyric, and Shakespeare, and Filter who built an incredible reputation for their adaptation of classic works. This premiere has been created exclusively for Latitude, and we'll be out in the woods with the best of them to enjoy it.
Torsion by The Balletboyz. The Balletboyz are one of the world's leading ballet companies and Torsion, featuring six dancers on the beautiful Waterfront stage is likely to be a festival highlight.
The Epic & PLAYlist by Theatre 503. Long before theatre 503 came to prominence with their 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play, The Mountaintop, we were fans of their work, so we'll be eagerly looking out for PLAYlist, which we always love at Theatre 503, but we're even more excited about Epic. Because they won't tell us anything about it! Apparently if they told us they'd have to kill us. All they will say is that it's unlike anything they've ever done before, but it will be ‘fearless'. We're salivating at the thought.
Hair An excerpt from the West End musical. It's going to be amazing. And not just because it features naked men and women.
The Dialogue Project Presents Intimate Conversations We'll be sneaking around the Faraway Forest with this unique collective who bring private and intimate conversations into the public domain. This year the intimate conversations will be about sex; expect beautiful, moving, and funny stories.
Lovesong A one man play on a piano. It's directed by the God that is Che Walker, performed by singer-songwrite Omar and presented by English Touring Theatre. We really don't know what to expect from this, but with ETT's commitment to quality theatre we know that we don't want to miss this.
The Wind in the Willows The Drama Student always keeps an eye out for emerging talent, and where better to spot the stars of tomorrow than at the National Student Drama Festival who'll be showcasing the most talented new writers, directors and actors.
We could go on and on, but with this list, plus the recommendations from everyone we've spoken to and interviewed this week, we really hope that you've got a flavour of what's coming up, and what we think is unmissable!
Photo: Andi Sapey