Festival fever strikes at the Lakeside Theatre  from 30th  April to 14th May  as the Homegrown Festival brings loads of performers with links to East Anglia, Colchester and the University of Essex together for one exciting jam packed festival.

From classic and contemporary drama to fun filled kids’ shows, from local musicians to interactive mystery performances, the Homegrown Festival is two weeks of high quality locally sourced cultural goodness.

Festival producer and Lakeside Theatre Artistic director Pasco Kevlin said “We are extremely excited and proud to bring to you work that has been made here at the University of Essex or brought to us by our close regional partners.   Professional theatre makers sit comfortably alongside local songwriters all with one burning ambition: to provide you with a unique evening of entertainment and cultural enrichment.”

A visit from Nobel Prize winning poet Derek Walcott will open the Homegrown Festival on April 30th. The University of Essex Professor of Poetry is in town to lead creative writing master classes at the University and will launch his two week teaching residency with an afternoon featuring readings of his recent works.

After that the fortnight of performances come thick and fast and will feature some familiar faces in brand new outings.

Look out for Broken Tongue’s brilliant version of Macbeth, accompanied by the haunting string music of Colchester musician Dan Merrill. Watch the hugely popular Colchester based artist Chris Dobrowolski and 30 Bird perform their new show about football and family relationships Poland 3 Iran 2 live from the campus’ Top Bar. See cutting edge new physical theatre from former choreographer Karla Shacklock (formerly of Precarious) developed at the Lakeside Theatre in the Spring of this year.

Kid’s have their Homegrown Festival day set aside too. The 8th of May is designed especially for them as two shows are set to capture young imaginations. The outdoor interactive puzzle cracking show Constables Cryptic Code returns after its huge success last year, then puppet-masters Theatre of Widdershins present their latest show Billy Goats Gruff.

There’s loads more great locally linked performances to boot and the full range of Homegrown Festival shows are on the Lakeside Theatre’s website at www.essex.ac.uk/artson5 or you can get hold of a brochure on the 26th April. Visit the Mercury Theatre reception for a brochure, email the Lakeside at arts@essex.ac.uk or call 01206 873261 to request your copy.

Homegrown Festival Line-up

An Afternoon with Derek Walcott Saturday 30 April, Lakeside Theatre, 3.00pm
The Nobel Laureate in conversation. Book via pennyw@essex.ac.ukMacbeth by Broken Tongue Sunday 1 May, Lakeside Theatre, 7.30pm
A contemporary reworking of a classic. Featuring live music from Dan Merrill.

The Frankfurt Formula Tuesday 3 May, Lakeside Theatre, 5.30pm & 9.30pm
A puzzle-cracking interactive mystery show for adults. One for fans of Crystal Maze!

Poland 3 Iran 2 by 30 Bird Tuesday 3 May, Top Bar, 7.30pm
Football. Revolution. Swimming. Grab a pint and enjoy this moving and hilarious show.

Berlin by East 15 Thursday 5 May, Lakeside Theatre, 7.30pm
A monumental physical performance looking at 60 years of Berlin’s turbulent history.

The Staff Sessions Friday 6 May, Lakeside Theatre, 7.30pm
Homegrown Jazz, Blues, Folk, Classical and African Drumming from UoE staff musicians.

 Nobody & Beyond by Karla Shacklock and Lucie Petrusova Saturday 7 May, Lakeside Theatre, 7.30pm
High octane physical performances, cutting edge costume designs and live composition.

Constable’s Cryptic Code Sunday 8 May, Lakeside Theatre, 10am & 1.30pm
Puzzle-cracking mystery adventure for kids and adults alike. Led by local journalist Neil Jones.

Three Billy Goats Gruff by Theatre of Widdershins Sunday 8 May, Lakeside Theatre, 11.15pm & 2.45pm
Gorgeous puppet show that explores some classic children’s tales.

Directors’ Cut Monday 9 May, Lakeside Theatre, 7.30pm
Puppetry, comedy and clinical social comment; 3 short sharp shows from UoE alumni companies.

Man.Chair & The Hunt Wednesday 11 May, Lakeside Theatre, 7.30pm
Intense and electrifying physical performances.

Young Actors Company Saturday 14 May, Lakeside Theatre, Time tba
Two shows from the Lakeside Theatre based YAC.