Who's There?

30 June 2012

Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Eight new short plays on time and memory from a stellar line-up of LiFTs Department writers including Jonathan Lichtenstein, Glyn Maxwell, Adrian May, Rebecca Prichard, Paul Sirett, Phil Terry, Marina Warner and a specially selected work by one LiFTs student.

See the pre-show discussion Playwrighting Today with speakers Chris Campbell of Royal Court Theatre and Nick Hern of Nick Hern Books.
 Tickets: Book Tickets

Writing the Self

Thursday 21 June, 10am & 1.30pm 
Venue: Art Exchange

A writing workshop aimed at enabling you to navigate the fascinating relationship between writing and the self. Led by professional writers Andrew Burton and Nicola Werenowska. 


Contested Games: Mexico 68’s Olympic design revolution

11 June 2012 - 14 July 2012

Venue: Art Exchange

1968: a year of worldwide social unrest, upheaval and protest was also the year of Olympic Games in Mexico. The first ‘nonwestern’ country ever to host the Olympics, Lance Wyman’s landmark designs for Mexico 68 have since entered the history books.
Contested Games will examine how even at the time the Mexico 68 design did not go unnoticed by students protesting for change. Their appropriation of the Olympic design is one of the most fascinating but underexplored aspects of the Mexico 68 legacy.
By exploring both official and student design, this exhibition reveals what is at stake when a country hosts the Olympics, and what happens in the gap between the universal values that the Games represents and the local realities faced in the host country.


Camellia and the Rabbit

07 June 2012

Performance Time: 16:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre Box Office Cafe
It is the elixir of the Gods. It has stirred wars, created vast fortunes and advanced medical science. It is at its prime in the afternoon. It has infused women's liberation. And it can always be relied upon in a crisis. It is Camellia Sinensis and it has rescued a rabbit, charmed a magician and saved Rachel's life.
A riot of colour and vim, Rififi Theatre Company invites you to tea at 4o’clock and offer to spin you a true story seen through the gauze of an Assam tea bag, that most reliable of teas.

Tickets: Book Tickets


Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard

04 June 2012

Performance Time: 20:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

One of the most interesting bands New York has to offer, Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard bring their melodic, uplifting and articulate music to Lakeside Theatre for a Bank Holiday special, fresh from supporting British legends Pulp.
Ranging between contemplative folk and distortion-fuelled garage rock, their music perfectly underpins the wonderfully sung stories of inspired frontman Lewis, whose artworks and low budget films accompany the show.
Watch Jeffrey Lewis and Junkyard on Youtube
1) Cult Boyfriend
2) Don't Be Upset
3) Jeffrey Lewis Documentary
Support comes from Wivenhoe based musician Lou Terry.
“…his evocative, heartfelt, pin-sharp lines hit compelling grooves, all twists and turns, grin-inducing couplets and weirdness” BBC Music
Tickets: Book Tickets


Fluid Images: Óscar Muñoz

17 May 2012

Time: 18:30
Venue: Art Exchange

Images in the work of Colombian artist Óscar Muñoz are not fixed but fluid, such as his beautifully simple film Línea del destino /Line of Destiny in which Muñoz captures his own reflection on the surface of water that fills his cupped hands.
In this talk Rebecca Breen engages with themes of disintegration and frustration in Muñoz’s image-making, and his elaboration of a portraiture which implicates the viewer, exhorting him or her to “take away an idea of [the] image, […] an idea full of variations and changes” (Muñoz, 2004)
Admission Free, Booking Required:  Book Tickets


A Midsummer Night's Dream

17 May 2012 - 18 May 2012

Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Outdoors in Wivenhoe Park. Arrive at Lakeside Theatre. 

Set in a secluded glade in idyllic Wivenhoe Park; see Shakespeare’s popular romantic comedy performed at sunset in a perfect natural environment.
The show is just 3 minutes from Lakeside Theatre so bring your cushion, relax on the grass and let our host of timeless characters weave their magic amongst the beautiful scenery and resident wildlife.
Made possible by a generous donation from the Essex Fund at the University of Essex.
Tickets: Book Tickets


We Hope That You're Happy (Why Would We Lie?)

12 May 2012

Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Hear from Made In China about their exciting show...

Jess is stuck. Her lifelong friend, Chris, can’t help. The others are out getting wasted. And the world is falling apart. Luckily they have a cooler full of beer, a goofy rapport and a sincere desire to make you, the audience, happy.

A flat-out and unhinged performance about trying to connect to each other, We Hope That You’re Happy (Why Would We Lie?) is a hilarious examination of tuned-in delusional consumers in a hyper-communicative world.

Tickets: Book Tickets




We Hope That You're Happy (Why Would We Lie?) - Lakeside Theatre, May 12

Made In China is the collaborative work of Tim Cowbury and Jessica Latowicki. We make visceral shows at the juncture of playwriting and live art, for audiences who are fans of neither and both.



TAS Review

The Theatre Arts Society presents a week long performance showcase of work around themes including Shakespeare, Political Theatre and Original Writing.

Always exciting and unique theatre makers, TAS return after the huge success of their original pantomime last year.

Monday 19th March
Lakeside Theatre Studio - 'pub quiz' and raffle, 
Doors at 7.00pm, show at 7.30pm

Tuesday 20th March
Main house - comedy panel game show 'Alt, Ctl, Del' at 7.30pm, interval at 8.15pm (approx), original play 'Paradise City' at 8.30pm, musical solo at 9pm


Comedy Central Live!

Friday 16 March 2012
Performance Time: 8:30pm
Venue: Lakeside Theatre
Tonight's Comedy Central Live! features:

Tom Wrigglesworth
Making his return is the inimitable and brilliant Tom Wrigglesworth. After winning the prestigious newcomer award ‘So You Think You’re Funny,’ Tom was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy award 2009 for his dry and surreally funny material.

“The ultimate crowd pleaser” The Guardian
Joe Wells
Comedy Central Live's Funniest Student Award winner 2012 Joe Wells has been on the stand up circuit for 3 years now. His act is a dry take on political issues mixed with some of the finest giggle inducing gags you'll ever hear!
Rich Morton
Stand up comedian, singer, songwriter and winner of the Time Out Comedy Award, Richard Morton is tonight's MC extraordinaire!

Tickets Online Now: Book Tickets



Monday 12 March 2012

Performance Time: 19:30

Venue: Lakeside Theatre
 Meaning ‘Unbalanced life’ in Hopi, Koyaanisqatsi is a haunting and hypnotic tone poem set to the music of Phillip Glass that juxtaposes images of
technology and scientific progress to make a deeply affecting parable of life in post industrial society.

France/Godfrey Reggio/1982/86 mins/Cert U
Book Online Now: Book Tickets


Simon Armitage and Glyn Maxwell

11 March 2012

Performance Time: 19:00
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

An evening of readings from two of Britain’s foremost poets. Simon Armitage is one of the UK’s widest read and best loved writers. His trademark
dry humour lends his poetry an accessible and realist style which has won him many notable awards including a CBE in 2010.

Glyn Maxwell is a poet, dramatist and librettist and winner of an E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as many other prestigious accolades including the 2004 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Glyn is part of the Creative Writing teaching team in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex.

Book Tickets Online: Book Tickets


Luke Wright and Ross Sutherland

Saturday 10 March 2012

Performance Time: 19:30

Venue: Lakeside Theatre

An unmissable blast of performance poetry from two of Britain’s hardest working, fastest rising talents. 4 Talent award winner Luke Wright has launched his own curve-ball bid to become Poet Laureate, programmed and hosted Latitude’s poetry arena and has become a poet-in-residence on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live.

Ross Sutherland was included in The Times’ list of Top Ten Literary Stars. He has written three poetry collections and a one-man show, titled The Three Stigmata Of Pacman and is a member, along with Luke, of poetry collective Aisle 16.

PLUS Join Luke and Ross for a free poetry workshop earlier in the day!

Book Tickets Online Now ! Book Tickets


Extracting Images Workshop with Laurence Owen ** Cancelled **

Saturday 10 March
Venue: Art Exchange
Time: 11.00 – 4.00pm

**Workshop Cancelled**

Artist Laurence Owen leads an all-day workshop that explores the wide variety of images that surround us and the meanings we construct for them. Join us for this artist-led workshop that focuses on the miraculous in the everyday.


This is Spinal Tap

Monday 05 March 2012
Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre
Spinal Tap, the world’s loudest band, is chronicled on what proves to be a fateful tour in this classic rock ‘n’ roll comedy. Regularly cited as one of the funniest movies ever made, This Is Spinal Tap set the standard for the ‘mockumentary’ genre of filmmaking and contains some of the most memorable rock ‘n’ roll performance ever put to film. Satirising everything from lewd showmanship and excessive lifestyle to badly conceived stagecraft, This Is Spinal Tap revels in the decadence of classic stadium rock performance.
USA/Rob Reiner/1984/82 minutes/Cert 15

Tickets:Book Online Now!


Laurence Owen: The Elemental Dynamic

27 February 2012 - 24 March 2012

Venue: Art Exchange

Taking the constrictions implicit in the supposedly childish medium of felt tips to see what might emerge with their garish tones, Laurence Owen makes a series of images which are both disturbing and familiar. He presents us with a skewed rendition of the everyday, appropriating the language of advertising, photographs and holiday brochures to his own ends. Owen calls his felt tip drawings ‘a newsreel of everyday life’, resulting in images that lie somewhere between the fantastical and the mundane.


Polar Bear

25 February 2012

Performance Time: 20:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre
Making a welcome return to Lakeside Theatre, Polar Bear are a London-based avant-garde jazz combo led from the back by BBC award winning drummer Seb Rochford. Pioneering a new form of British jazz, Polar Bear’s pulsating electronic soundscapes, dance friendly beats and catchy sax melodies lend their music wide appeal to audiences from traditionalists to people who don’t normally do jazz.

“The big-hitters of the current new wave” Independent on Sunday

Curator’s Lunchtime Tour

Wednesday 22 February
Venue: Art Exchange
Time: 1 – 1.30pm

Admission free, booking essential - Email arts@essex.ac.uk Come along and find out more about the extraordinary work of artist Laure Prouvost. Join curator Jess Kenny for a tour of The Wanderer (Betty Drunk).

1 Beach Road

24 February 2012

Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre
A tale of friendship, defiance, a shrinking island, synchronized swimming and trying to turn back the tide. 1 Beach Road explores the metaphorical connections between Alzheimer’s disease and coastal erosion and asks “what is it like to lose everything – your home and your memories?”Returning after the huge success of The Idiot Colony, award winning company Red Cape bring us their unique visual, physical storytelling, sense of humour and original writing.“a thoughtful, unsettling and beautifully
conceived show”
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Tickets: Book Tickets Now! 


The John Law Trio

17 February 2012

Performance Time: 20:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Sensational pianist John Law leads his highly acclaimed ensemble in an evening of breathtaking original and popular jazz. Playing the best material from his acclaimed Art of Sound trio as well as ingenious reworkings of tunes from the standard jazz repertoire, John Law’s highly accomplished trio features Yuri Goloubev on bass and percussionist Asaf Sirkis.

“sheer technical brilliance” The Telegraph
Tickets: Book Tickets


Scenes From Communal Living

09 February 2012
Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Performed by an ensemble of the UK’s hottest improvisers, Scenes from
Communal Living
uses audience suggestions to create a unique night of

Completely new combinations of characters and stories are invented in
each scene, all set in the rooms of shared accommodation. Witness the strangest characters who ever argued over a gas bill or taped a vaguely threatening note to the fridge in this show of fast paced invention!

“Very funny, fresh and endlessly creative...Two thumbs up!” Time Out London

Book Tickets


Comedy Central Live with Sean Hughes

04 February 2012
Performance Time: 20:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre
Tonight's Comedy Central Live! The updated line up features:
Sean Hughes
Stand Up Comedy legend and star of Never Mind The Buzzcocks Sean Hughes joins us to headline tonight.

"One of the best stand ups of his generation" The Daily Telegraph

Matt Forde
A sharp brain and an infectious laugh are the hallmarks of Matt Forde. A regular host and contributor to BBC radio, Forde is a keen eyed satirist who has written for Mock the Week and 8 Out of 10 Cats and received high acclaim for his 2011 Edinburgh show Dishonourable Member.

MC Jimmie McGhie
A highly regarded young stand-up and comic performer, Jimmy performs on the UK and international comedy circuit to great acclaim.

Head over to our facebook group for up to the minute updates.
Tickets: Book Tickets


Lucinda Belle Orchestra

05 February 2012
Performance Time: 20:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Singer, songwriter and jazz harpist Lucinda Belle is a rising star of the British music scene. Having played alongside Rufus Wainwright and Robbie Williams she is now building a reputation with Lucinda Belle Orchestra.
Belle’s soft toned melodies ring out over the cafe jazz of her versatile orchestra whose tunes effortlessly reference 1920’s Parisian gypsy cool and pop icons such as Lady Gaga and Amy Winehouse.
Playing music from her 2010 debut album My Voice and My 45 Strings, don’t miss the incredible Lucinda Belle Orchestra. 

Tickets Online Now!  Book Tickets

Dianna's Last / My Last

02 February 2012 - 03 February 2012

Performance Time: 19:30

Venue: Lakeside Theatre Studio
 A kidnapping and the tense relationships that follow are the subject of a play and film by Troy Balmayer.
Exploring the process of cross medium adaptation, witness two versions of one thriller in Dianna’s Last/My Last, viewed sequentially in the Lakeside Theatre’s studio then main house.

Working in collaboration with the University of Essex Centre for Theatre Studies, Lakeside Theatre presents this Independent Practical Production third year Drama student Troy Balmayer.


Way Out West

26 January 2012

Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre
Two men walk into a pub - and then it stops being normal. As the beer flows their conversation spans the creation of the universe, bar snacks, the meaning of happiness and a bizarre shared dream in which they’ve met Laurel and Hardy, and each other, before. An unnerving philosophical and spiritual world opens before them: has that great cinematic comedy duo returned? Way out West is a funny, tender and melancholic new play from the writer of Meeting Joe Strummer and Don’t Shoot the Clowns.
Tickets: Full £10, Concs £7, UoE £5
Book Now Online >


Laure Prouvost: The Wanderer (Betty Drunk)

18 Jan 2012 - 23 February 2012

Venue: Art Exchange
Art Exchange presents Laure Prouvost’s The Wanderer (Betty Drunk), a newly commissioned film and installation.  Based on a script by artist Rory Macbeth, who without knowledge of German translated Kafka’s The Metamorphosis into English, Betty Drunk follows characters as they undergo a series of increasingly bizarre experiences, navigating a path through situations in which reality becomes increasingly uncertain.

Laure Prouvost is winner of the Max Mara Art Prize 2011.


Find me out in the country
Saturday 28 January
Venue: Art Exchange and Company Shed Mersea
Time: 1 – 6.30pm
Ticket prices: £5 Concs: £3. Bookings go live Monday 9 Jan 2012.
Lunch not included in price.
Join artist Laure Prouvost for a trip to Mersea’s famous Company Shed for lunch, followed by an afternoon talk and reception to celebrate The Wanderer (Betty Drunk) coming to Art Exchange.
A minibus will take us to Mersea, collecting from Art Exchange and Colchester.

Artist’s Film Choice: L’humanité

France/Benoit Dumont/1999/148 mins/Cert 18
Monday 13 February
Doors: 7.00pm Screening: 7.30pm
Venue: Lakeside Theatre
Ticket Prices: Full £5, Concs £3. Bookings go live Monday 9 Jan 2012.

When a girl is brutally raped and murdered in a quiet French village, a police detective who has forgotten how to feel emotions investigates the crime, which asks more questions than it answers.

Laure Prouvost in Context

Wednesday 15 February
Venue: Art Exchange
Time: 6.30 – 7.30pm
Admission free, booking essential. Bookings go live Monday 9 Jan 2012.

A chance to watch a selection of Laure Prouvost’s films that brought her to international attention. Stay on for a discussion of this up-and-coming artist over a glass of wine.

Curator’s Lunchtime Tour

Wednesday 22 February
Venue: Art Exchange
Time: 1 – 1.30pm
Admission free, booking essential. Bookings go live Monday 9 Jan 2012.

Come along and find out more about the extraordinary work of artist Laure
Prouvost. Join curator Jess Kenny for a tour of The Wanderer (Betty Drunk).


Dick Whittington and his Pussy

14  - 16 December 2011
Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

The Theatre Arts Society makes a raucous return with its annual original pantomime Dick Whittington and His Pussy.

Full of glitz and glamour, brilliantly re-imagined characters and the type of festive rudeness you d hope for at this time of year the TAS panto is not to be missed! (photo: Aladdin, 2010)

Tickets: £10, £7, £5


Kentridge in Context

07 December 2011
Time: 18:30
Venue: Art Exchange  

Join curator Jess Kenny for an evening of discussion that places William Kentridge's work in a wider context. A chance to watch other seminal short films by William Kentridge including 'Mine', 'Ubu Tells the Truth' and 'Tide Table'.  Admission free, but please ensure your place arts@essex.ac.uk 


Writers at Essex presents Roger Moss and Phil Terry

06 December 2011
Time: 18:00
Venue: Art Exchange

Following in others' footsteps, walking within cities, the past and present politics of cities - are touched on in this evening of readings. Phil Terry will be reading poems derived from walks, including a poem based on walks from The Cut, a thoroughfare near Waterloo in London, conceived as a protest against the government cuts, and some poems retracing W. G. Sebald's steps. 


Roger Moss will also be reading works that are inspired by the theme of walking between worlds.

Admission free.


Lakeside Writers

Monday 5 December
Time: 7.00pm-9.00pm
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Lakeside Writers is a new initiative aimed at writers and aspiring writers whose work includes an element of performance. Open to all University of Essex students and to any writers living in the east of England and led by Lakeside Theatre's Literary Consultant Andrew Burton, it is a space where writers can network, see excerpts of work-in-progress, and hear about current developments in the wider cultural sector.

Whether you describe your work as drama, audio drama, live literature, documentary, screenplay, storytelling or song lyrics, you are welcome to join us.

For further information, or to book a place email arts@essex.ac.uk


Writers at Essex presents Ian Monk

02 December 2011

Time: 18:00
Venue: Art Exchange
Ian Monk is a translator, writer of poetry and fiction and a member of french writing group OULIPO. His works include Family Archaeology and Other Poems and Writings for the Oulipo and among his translations are works by Pennac, Perec and Roussel. Tonight he will give a reading from his own works.

“Ian Monk is like Perec. When presented with a constraint two things can happen: either the constraint is easy, in which case Ian yawns and goes to sleep. Or else it is difficult. He then wakes up and gets to work. The more the constraint is difficult, the more the work is excellent.” Jacques Roubaud.

Admission free.


Working the Devil

01 December 2011 
Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Two sharp and blackly funny takes on the absurd world of work. With The Devil and the Details, less is more, more or less. Set against a live beat box score, it takes minimalism and dance to a darkly comic place. Meanwhile Hinterview channels the grand themes of progress and collapse into solo dance, for your pleasure.

A fresh and understated show, Working The Devil was developed at the Lakeside Theatre and showcased by the British Council at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011.

Tickets: UoE Students £5, UoE Staff & Concessions £7, Full £10


Margins: walking between worlds (Part 3)

01 - 17 December 2011 
Venue: Art Exchange 

Part 3 explores issues of displacement and forced exile in the work of South African artist William Kentridge. We focus on ‘Shadow Procession’, a seminal work that reminds us that mobility is not always a matter of choice, but a by product of war, famine and colonial legacy. Beautifully made and with a disconcertingly celebratory sound track, this film reminds us of the complexities and contradictions bound up in the simple act of walking.


Comedy Central Live!

26 November 2011 
Performance Time: 20:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Watch the finest stand up comedians at Lakeside Theatre's regular comedy club, Comedy Central Live! Tonight's headliner is Ivan Brackenbury. Hapless hospital radio DJ Ivan Brackenbury is a masterful comic creation whose 2010 show ‘Disease Hour’ won rave 4 star reviews in The Guardian/Times/ES/Time Out and Scotsman.

He returns to the Lakeside Theatre after a storming set here last winter. Support from Ria Lina. A regular on the comedy circuit for a decade, Ria Lina makes a big impact with her dry wit, upbeat personality and bawdy ukulele songs.

Tickets: UoE Students: £5, UoE Staff £7, Full £10.


Three Bonzos and a Piano

25 November 2011 
Performance Time: 20:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Three original members of legendary sixties surrealists Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band create musical mayhem and chaos on the chords. Expect subversive fun and musical madness as Roger Ruskin Spear, Rodney Slater and Sam Spoons play classic Bonzo Dog hits and bring you the mad spirit of the ageless band who collaborated with Monty Python and influenced every major UK comedian from Bill Bailey to Stephen Fry and Eddie Izzard.

‘the undisputed heavyweights of comedy pop’ Daily Express

Tickets: UoE Students £8, UoE Staff & Concessions £12, Full £15



24 November 2011 
Performance Time: 19:30 
Venue: Lakeside Theatre 

In a country where unnatural deeds are commonplace and where the night is filled with a restless ecstasy, Shakespeare’s tragedy of ambition and guilt unfolds. Characters appear and disappear from the shadows as Platform 4’s nightmarish vision crackles with wild electricity, brought to life by the sonic experiments of pioneering composer and Cardiacs guitarist Bic Hayes. 

“Platform4’s strong visual approach creates theatrical rough magic.” The Guardian 

Tickets: UoE Students £5, UoE Staff & Concessions £7, Full £10


Family Art Day: Friendly Feet

20 November 2011

Time: 14:00 Venue: Art Exchange
Where have your feet been today? Where would they like to go? This workshop will get you thinking on your feet! You will create a foot character and take it on an incredible journey from your imagination!
Suitable for all ages. Admission free, but booking essential. Email arts@essex.ac.uk


Alec Dankworth's Spanish Accents

19 November 2011
Performance Time: 20:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Alec Dankworth’s long-standing love of all things Spanish provided the inspiration for this group. Metheny, Corea, even Rodrigo are reinvented alongside traditional folk songs and originals in flamenco rhythms creating a wonderful and genuinely Spanish world.

A heady mix of top British players - saxophonist Mark Lockheart, Rowland Sutherland on flute and Alec Dankworth on bass all interweave with the Spanish drum work of Demi Garcia, guitar of Phil Robson and mellifluous vocals of Emily Dankworth and make Spanish Accents an unmissable line-up.

“Alec Dankworth is a rock-solid, imaginative jazz bassist” The Guardian
Tickets: UoE Students £8, Concessions £12, Full £15


Walking between worlds: Tacita Dean's footage

Tuesday, November 15 
Time: 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Venue: Art Exchange

A chance to hear Marina Warner talk about her collaboration with Tacita Dean, ‘Footage’, currently on show at Art Exchange. Marina will amplify on themes raised in the exhibition, including her research into the history and culture of shamans who through drumming, dreams, and dancing, access other worlds. Please join us for a drink after the talk. This event is free, but please ensure your place by emailing arts@essex.ac.uk

Paris, Texas

14 November 2011 
Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

A man walks out of the desert with no memory of who he is or how he got there; so begins Wender’s compelling and multi award winning Paris, Texas.

Part road movie, part contemporary western, the film wanders through the vast Texan landscape, offering beautiful images of rust and decay and weaving them into a poignant story of alienation, family love and the desperate search for roots.

Tickets: Full £5, UoE & Concessions £3


Comedy Central Live!

12 November 2011 
Performance Time: 20:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Watch the finest stand up comedians at Lakeside Theatre's regular comedy club, Comedy Central Live! Tonight's headliner is Simon Munnery.

Alternative comedy genius Munnery returns to the Lakeside Theatre by popular demand after a triumphant set here last year. A major figure in UK comedy, Munnery has influenced the careers of comedy giants such as Stewart Lee and Steve Coogan. Support from Tom Craine. Tom Craine is a BBC award winning standup comic, MC and writer who’s had commissions from Radio 2, penned laughs for BBC 3 and presented for Radio 1. However he’s still most proud of being named Wales’s 33rd sexiest man, despite hailing from Bath.

Tickets: UoE Students £5, UoE Staff & Concessions £7, Full £10



10 November 2011
Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Featuring five outstanding dancers and choreography by Jerwood Award winner Jean Abreu, this gritty and compelling production reveals surprising tenderness within the starkness of captivity, all set against a storming soundtrack by post rock outfit 65daysofstatic.

‘Dance theatre of outstanding quality .... a totally enthralling experience that manages to be a thing of beauty’ Fringe Review

Tickets: UoE Students £5, UoE Staff & Concessions £7, Full £10


Walking between worlds Symposium

Saturday 5 November, 2.00 – 5.00pm

Venue: Firstsite, Colchester

This symposium examines the act of walking as a subversive artistic practice. We will consider the ways in which walking can question the workings of the city, the understanding of territory and the assumptions of the established order. Speakers include art historians Dawn Ades and Anna Dezeuze, writer Iain Sinclair and artist Regina José Galindo.

The symposium will be followed by a newly commissioned performance by Regina Jose Galindo.
Admission free, but please ensure your place ring Firstsite on 01206 577067 or go to www.firstsite.uk.net


Regina Jose Galindo: Lesson Of Dissection

Friday 4 November, 7.30-8.30pm
Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall, Auditorium A

A new performance by internationally renowned artist Regina Jose Galindo. Using her body and skill of a surgeon, Galindo will explore how recent murders in Mexico and Guatemala owe much their ritualistic killing to a history of dissection.

Do come along! Admission free, but booking essential. Email: arts@essex.ac.uk
Commissioned by Art Exchange in partnership with ESCALA and firstsite.

Regina Jose Galindo's website: http://www.reginajosegalindo.com/

Vanessa and Virginia

03 November 2011
Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

This innovative new tale, tells the story of the remarkable sisters, novelist Virginia Woolf and artist Vanessa Bell. 

Fusing original music and poetic text, and based on the acclaimed novel by Susan Sellers, Vanessa and Virginia creates a meditative perspective that moves through time and visits the places, events and memories that shaped one of the most significant relationships of 20th Century art.

Tickets: UoE Students £5, UoE Staff & Concessions £7, Full £10


Man On Wire

31 October 2011
Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring and illegal high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center’s twin towers in 1974.

Part documentary, part drama Marsh’s film is an awe inspiring account of what some consider "the artistic crime of the century," winning a Bafta for Outstanding British film and an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.

Tickets: Full £5, UoE & Concessions £3


A Clockwork Orange

26 - 27 October 2011 
Performance Time: 19:30 
Venue: Lakeside Theatre 

“What's it going to be then, eh?” 
Volcano takes on Burgess's inventive, disturbing little masterpiece fifty years after it was written. A nasty little shocker, or a profound exploration of state power and free will? 

Beautifully designed, with extraordinary performances, this production stays true to Burgess's original both in its cut-throat inventiveness and in its insistence on the question of whether it is better to be forced to be good or to be free to do evil. 

Tickets: UoE Students £5, UoE Staff & Concessions £7, Full £10

See the video preview below: 


Fish Tank

17 October 2011 
Performance Time: 19:30
Venue: Lakeside Theatre

Set on an Essex estate Fish Tank follows the life of Mia, a fifteen year old girl with a fiery temperament and a love of hip-hop dance, as she struggles to assert herself against a suffocating home life. Featuring an astonishing debut performance from Katie Jarvis and beautiful cinematography that renders Essex urban life in an incredible new light, the film won the Jury Prize at Cannes and a Bafta Award for Best British Film.

Tickets: Full £5, UoE & Concessions £3



20 October 2011 - 22 October 2011
Performance Time: 19:30 
Venue: Lakeside Theatre 

Fresh from a hugely successful run at the Edinburgh Festival, Lakeside Theatre are proud to present Darkness. 

Yann, a young Muslim immigrant, takes work that no one else will do; clearing windblown trees in a remote forest. It’s dangerous, but he needs the job and anyway he’s fallen for the beautiful Caitlin. The family he works for are deeply religious and soon Yann is confronted about his own convictions.

UoE £5, Concs & UoE Staff £7, Full £10 

Phone: 01206 873288 / 573948 
Online: www.essex.ac.uk/artson5 
In Person: Lakeside Theatre 
Box Office Café open 
Mon-Fri 8.30am-4pm, Sat 10-2pm 


Comedy Central Live!

15 October 2011 
Performance Time: 20:00 
Venue: Lakeside Theatre 

Special Guest - Paul Tonkinson A self-confessed professional Northener, Paul Tonkinson is a star of comedy in all it's forms including a set on Michael Macintyre's Comedy Roadshow. In a career spanning more than 20 years, he's routinely had huge crowds in fits of laughter with his easy charm and ingenious stories. Damian Clark After bursting onto the Irish & UK comedy circiut on 2005, Clark has forged his reputation as a popular, brash and charismatic purveyor of laugh out loud material. 

MC Suzi Ruffell Punchy newcomer Ruffell is a bundle of hugely likeable positive energy and has been tipped as "definitely one to watch!" by Time Out London. 

Tickets: To be announced


Margins: walking between worlds (Part 1)

24 September 2011 - 05 November 2011

Venue: Art Exchange 

An exhibition in 3 parts, ‘Margins: walking between worlds’ creates a platform for bringing together work that registers the often complex issues inherent in the simple act of walking. Part 1 investigates how mobility, resistance and power can be explored through the simple act of walking. This exhibition focuses on artists who insert themselves into everyday life on the streets. Some subtly absorb the world around them, while others walk in an overtly political direction. Yet all reference place, all utilise the natural narrative of going on a journey - and all recognise that the absurdity of our situation is never far away. This exhibition brings together the work of internationally renowned artists Francis Alÿs, Regina José Galindo, Emily Jacir, John Smith and Richard Wentworth.


Theatre Reviews for Darkness



Darkness – review 

With so much devised work and puppetry on the fringe, the proper play is beginning to look like an endangered species. But here's a good meaty one, written by Jonathan Lichtenstein whose excellent The Pull of Negative Gravity was seen at the Traverse five years ago. There are structural and narrative reasons why this isn't so strong, but it has plenty going for it: it's gripping, atmospheric and quite superbly acted, and it charts the madness of religious fundamentalism and the terrible cost of that madness. There's also a brilliant riff on prawn cocktail-flavoured crisps.
Lichtenstein and director Gari Jones pile on the atmosphere, cleverly lead us around a few forest false trails, and bring the bubbling violence to a dramatic climax. The actors flesh out the occasionally missing subtext in the script, and while this may not be a great play, it's an urgent one that keeps you right on the edge of your seat.

The Scotsman ★★★
"…a strong work which combines good performances with a compelling scenario”


"Gripping portrait of religious fundamentalism"
by Christopher Adams for remotegoat on 19/08/11
Darkness, a new play by Jonathan Lichtenstein, is a full-bodied, devastating exploration of religious fundamentalism in a tight-knit family. In rural Wales, a family prepares to celebrate Ascension Day, the day Jesus was said to have been taken up into Heaven. The father, Huw (David Tarkenter), who operates a tree-clearing business, believes he is hearing the voice of God. Carol (Barbara Peirson), the mother, is still mourning her missing son Ollie (Nathan Wright), who left the family 'nine months and eight days' ago after a violent 'accident'. One of three sons, Dan (Joshua Hayes), is increasingly disturbed by his hyper-masculine, patriarchal environment. Daughter Caitlyn (Emma Jane Connell) is nervously trying to introduce her Croatia-born boyfriend Yann (Kieran Knowles) to the family. Yann's presence angers brother Tony (Jamie Wallwork), who also hears the voice of God, but whose feelings for his sister are not wholly brotherly.

With such a well-seeded set-up, Lichtenstein splendidly serves up organically-grown conflict. He allows the scenes to play out, slowly building up tension. Character motivations are, for the most part, fully fleshed (though Ollie's strange passivity could use tweaking). What comes across best is the suffocating nature of this hermetically sealed world. Caitlyn's actions are constantly scrutinized by her family; she becomes livid when Yann suggests they have an alcoholic drink--the consequences of her family finding out would be too devastating. Director Gari Jones effectively conveys the closed, brutal world the characters inhabit. Several chainsaws populate the stage, along with a shotgun and flammable liquids. Much-needed comic relief arrives in a family discussion about potato crisps. The scene is a precise, funny look at the family's dynamic.

Though the Welsh accents at times must be taken on faith, the acting is uniformly strong. Tarkenter delivers a gripping performance as the overbearing, troubled Huw. Wallwork's Tony is a forest fire ready to ignite with a single spark; he is wracked with self-hatred over his incestuous feelings for his sister. Hayes's Dan becomes a leading voice of reason against his brothers' and father's decent into fanaticism.

From its antagonistic opening to its heavy conclusion, Darkness is a dramatically satisfying, aggressive story. Strong writing and acting make this a must-see.


The Observer,

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Most distractingly delicious-smelling stage food

I was captivated by Jonathan Lichtenstein's sombre new play Darkness (Zoo Roxy), about a family of Welsh fundamentalist loggers uneasily awaiting Rapture together in the woods. But, wow, when one of the characters in this lunchtime production whipped out a vacuum flask and started dishing out a steaming stew to the rest of the cast, I'd not yet had anything to eat and half-wished myself one of this unhappy family of extremists just to get a mouthful.


Fringe Review
Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Darkness ★★★

Low Down: Jonathan Lichtenstein's new play delves into the dangers of religious fundamentalism as an immigrant muslim worker disturbs a family of foresters in darkest Wales.
Review: Jonathan Lichtenstein's last play on the Fringe, The Pull of Negative Gravity about the devastating effect on a Welsh family of their son returning home injured from the Iraq War, deservedly won a Fringe First in 2004.  For some reason his 2007 play, Memory, went straight from Clwyd to New York, missing out Edinburgh in between.  His new play, Darkness, played to a modestly sized audience on the day I caught it in the slightly cramped stage of Zoo Roxy's loft space, but it deserves much a bigger house and stage.

In a forest somewhere in Wales, Huw is the rather eccentric uptight head of a family of foresters.  His two sons Dan the sensible and Tony the obvious nutjob both tease him for buying snakeskin boots on eBay which he believes were Cliff Richard's but both sons are obedient to their father's dominating will.  Huw's other son, Ollie, some time ago fled the nest because of him. Huw's wife is concerned that it's starting again. 
Into the madness comes Yann, a Croatian labourer taking the best job he can get.  Yann's advances towards Huw's daughter, Caitlyn, have not been unsuccessful. 
The tension rises rapidly, for both Huw and his son Tony have been hearing the voice of God and believe they have been called to induce the Rapture and the immigrant is somehow involved. And today is Ascension Day.  And to ratchet the tension further, the prodigal son returns with an aura of terrible calm.  He clearly has a plan and you just know this is not going to end well. 

Darkness is a study on a domestic scale of the danger that the absolute certainty born of religious fundamentalism bestows on authority figures.  There is something very American about the play, in the woodland setting, the dramatic web of family ties and in the mindsets of its characters (belief in the Rapture is massive in the U.S. but very much a minority insanity in the U.K.) 
The play rips along to an intense if slightly predictable climax, driven by the stand-out performances of David Tarkenter as Huw and Jamie Wallwork as Tony who are both fully committed to being convincingly demented, Jamie Wallwork in particular carrying off some brilliant over-acting (which I mean as a compliment - it is one of the strongest way-out-on-a-limb performances I have seen this year). 
Darkness makes a strong impression, but somehow doesn't quite hang together completely.  It works a bit too hard at saying something and there are quite a few logical inconsistencies which leave the actors at times rather exposed.  Nevertheless it is a provocative and powerful play and very well worth seeing.

Reviewed by George Dillon 16 August 2011 



The biggest reviewer at the Edinburgh Festival

Darkness ★★★
tw rating 4/5 
Lakeside Theatre / University of Essex / Escalator East To Edinburgh
This intricate, fast-paced piece explores the nature of sacrifice and the boundary between faith and madness, ultimately leaving the audience with a set unanswered questions. Tensions simmer as a family gathers to celebrate Ascension Day on a remote hillside, their motivations and relationships are at times ambiguous and contradictory, as exasperation fuels sexual desire and violence is justified as spiritual guidance. Potential weapons and cringingly provocative comments stack up with improbable speed. Whilst this stoking of suspense feels unsubtle at times, it is certainly effective, and the characters' myriad complexities and alienating unpredictability make any outcome seem possible. As a result, the dénouement leaves a deep sense of unease, more troubling, thought provoking and lingering than any desired catharsis.
Zoo Roxy, 5 – 29 (not 15, 22), 3.30pm (4.55pm), £8.00 - £10.00, fpp253.
tw rating 4/5

ED FRINGE 2011: Darkness – Zoo Roxy

Reviewer: Melissa Rynn

The Public Reviews Rating: ★★★★½ 

Based on religious fundamentalism, Darkness; a new play by Jonathan Lichtenstein and directed by Gari Jones, is amazingly apt given recent occurrences across the globe. It concentrates on complete belief in rapture by God, and the danger religious extremism of this level can bring. The story concentrates on a deeply religious family who celebrate ascension night in the woods each year. They are joined on this occasion by the return of their prodigal son Ollie, and the immigrant worker Yann who has fallen for the family’s daughter.
Even within the complex issues the play explores, the family is utterly believable with small bickerings over flavours of crisps and purchases bought on eBay, and the entire cast are strong throughout. Nathan Wright as prodigal son Ollie and Jamie Wallwork as Tony are particularly harrowing, while David Tarkenter’s religiously intense Huw is striking. The entire cast shows strong conviction in their work with complete understanding of the issues at hand, presenting a story well thought out and with compassion.
The set, lighting, and sound design work in perfect harmony to create a visually stunning and atmospheric woodland setting for the story. Along with the staging, the design creates an air of tension that remains throughout and builds to a climax as the religious extremism takes wind and the play progresses.
Stories of the religious fundamentalism are bound to be ripe after the widely broadcast Harold Camping incident earlier this year but, as the recent Norway happenings show us, they are always relevant. Darkness is a well-presented piece that investigates dangerous issues in a captivating way. Lichtenstein’s play is a triumph and the production, strong.


Festmag ★★★★

By Jonathan Holmes 

It’s Ascension Day, and a reverent family of Welsh lumberjacks await the apocalypse. Their vigil is interrupted by two arrivals: one, a lost son, the other, an immigrant and atheist. With Darkness, Fringe First winner Jonathan Lichtenstein explores religious fundamentalism, asking why God always seems to demand we sacrifice our family. Lichtenstein intelligently synthesises Bible stories and wrenching family drama. He mostly resists didacticism, keeping the focus on Earthly matters and Earthly consequences. The proclamations and chainsaw-swinging testosterone are undercut by bathetic humour: apocalyptic prophecies interrupted by arguments about crisps and eBay.
The cast are assured. They all have to shout an awful lot, and quote a fair amount of scripture, but you believe they are a family. This authenticity is vital, making you realise this isn’t about religion so much as how people wield it over others. David Tarkenter deserves particular praise as the patriarch and would-be prophet, but each actor brings their own, unspoken stories to their characters.
Indeed, Darkness is at its best when dealing with the unseen and unsaid. Some of its more on-the-nose elements rankle. The returning, bearded son could do with looking less messianic and initially, Yann the Muslim immigrant doesn’t register properly, partly due to an unconvincing accent. The play's programme listing also includes misleading references to George W Bush, an example of mission creep that the play doesn’t need and can’t support.
But these are minor complaints. Overall, this is a disturbing examination of the sins of a father, and how he inflicts them on his sons.


Kieran from The Good Review interviews Joshua Hayes (Dan) during rehearsals.

Joshua Hayes is currently rehearsing the Lakeside Theatre’s new production of Darkness a new play by fringe first winning writer Jonathan Lichtenstein. The production will be performed throughout the Edinburgh festival at the Zoo Roxy’s loft venue and Josh recently took the time out of his rehearsals on Essex University campus to answer a few questions for us about the project.
Alright Josh?
Now then Kieran lad!
What can you tell us about Darkness?
It’s a brilliant new play, by a fantastic writer, brought to the stage by visionary director Gari Jones, and features a superb ensemble cast. If I may say so myself!
High Praise! What’s it about?
Its about a family in Wales, and their relationship with religion and how it affects their relationships with each other. It is quite dark and sinister, as you’d imagine from the title, but has some funny and moving moments which balance it out nicely.
Is it exciting being at the start of a new project?
Absolutely! The source material is brilliant, Jonathan [Lichtenstein] has given us a really strong platform to build on. We were lucky enough to have had a rehearsed reading at Pulse festival a few weeks ago and the positive reaction from the audience has helped fuel the excitement surrounding the project. Also its quite a relevant subject given our ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and things like Harold Camping’s recent predictions about the date of the Rapture.
How are the rehearsals going?
So far very good, we are in the process of getting it up on its feet. I think the cast and I are just enjoying finding the characters and exploring the relationships. We as a cast are getting on great, and the relaxed atmosphere in the room makes the process so much more fulfilling. Whats interesting about the play is that a lot of the fractures in the relationships occur before the start of it and the period in which the piece takes place is when everything comes to a head.
You’ve been to Edinburgh before, how will this trip compare to the last?
It makes me even more excited if I’m honest. Because when I went before I was still a student and I didn’t really know what it was all about, and now I know what to expect I am looking forward to it even more. I managed to see some great things at the Zoo Roxy last time as well and I am now really excited to be performing there myself.