A new term up at the University of Essex – and whaddya know, a new season at the lovely Lakeside Theatre and the Arts on 5 schedule. It’s not just a slight distraction that is being offered up to the future world leaders as they prepare for their exams either.
The Lakeside is something of a lost treasure at Wivenhoe Park, open to all around Sunny Colch and the surrounds, and offering something of a halfway house between the two spectrums of @firstsite and the Mercury Theatre. But not in geographic terms, obviously…
Here are a few highlights from the Arts on 5 summer season. It’s the usual high standard and mix of touring productions, exhibitions and student involvement.
Seeking Beyond the Surface running from 25th April until 26th May takes a look at… what we take a look out each morning as we lather up the shaving foam:
Look in a mirror and one thing’s true, what we see is not who we are.(Richard Bach)
Seeking Beyond the Surface explores reflections, distortions and mirroring in the work of five international contemporary artists. Each artist focuses on the body, offering ways of exploring human presence, made inconsistent and hard to grasp by the reflective surface itself.
Is that a blackhead I see before me?
There is a Curator’s Lunchtime Tour taking place on 3rd May. Booking is required, but admission is FREE.
Keeping with the invex theme [or is it convex? I never too vain to take any notice...] and Mirror Mirror on 13th May offers up a family friendly appreciation of all the reflective interest:
“Explore reflection and create your own mirror masterpiece.”
Derek Walcott in Conversation on 28th April is just that:
“Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott reads from and discusses his work with award-winning poet and lecturer in the LiFTS’s Centre for Creative Writing Glyn Maxwell.”
And the reason for inviting the esteemed Nobel Laureate to Wivenhoe Park? Did someone say Pantomime? As we approach mid-summer?
Well I never:
“Lakeside Theatre and the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex are proud to announce a brand new production of Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott’s play Pantomime, directed by the poet himself as part of a two week residency at the University.
Set in Tobago in the wake of the Caribbean republic’s establishment, an English Hotel Manager desperately prepares the entertainment at his slapdash establishment. His big idea Robinson Crusoe – The Pantomime! underwhelms his Tobagan waiter and pushes their relationship to a crisis which transcends the pantomime at hand.”
Pantomime will be performed on campus from 3rd – 5th May.
We Hope That You’re Happy (Why Would We Lie?)
Nope – I really Hope That You’re Happy (Why Would We Lie?) is the title of the next production rolling on to the splendour of the stage at The Lakeside:
“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.”
I hope that you can catch We Hope That You’re Happy (Why Would We Lie?) on 12th May. And nope – I’m not making this up.
Much magic however when the rolling slopes and aquatic background that inspired Constable back in the day [blimey] becomes the setting for A Midsummer’s Night Dream.
“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.”
17th – 18th May is when Shakespeare’s masterpiece on mistaken identity, a belief in the fairy world and a man called Bottom will be on offer up on campus.
I’m not talking about those undergraduate exam answers, either.