Alongside the multi-coloured sheep, the sea of tents and the annual conundrum of packing wellies or sunglasses, Paines Plough are fast becoming an integral part of the Latitude Festival.
In a line-up that evolves each year to reflect the changing themes, Tania Harrison manages each year to programme a mix of new theatre artists and established favourites to tempt festival goers away from the music stages.
Paines Plough has appeared at each Latitude Festival from its second edition in 2007 but even in the first year there was a link as current Paines Plough Artistic Directors, James Grieve and George Perrin, helped programme the very first Latitude theatre schedule.
Since then the Paines Plough Latitude slot has read like a who’s who of theatre, showcasing works by Enda Walsh, Dennis Kelly, Robin French, Che Walker, Mark Ravenhill, Penelope Skinner and Kate Tempest among others.
So what keeps Paines Plough returning year after year? For Grieve and Perrin it’s simple: “Latitude is one of our favourite weekends of the year, and one of our favourite places to present work. A packed Latitude Theatre Tent offers the most exciting, alive, responsive atmosphere,” they say.
With so much happening across the Henham Park site, there’s always competing attractions vying for festival goers’ attendance and with a wide demographic it’s not your traditional theatre audience. It is though that unique audience that appeals to the pair behind Paines Plough.
“Many people who come to watch our work at festivals would never normally darken the door of a theatre, and they come with few pre-conceptions, a distinct lack of cynicism, and pint in hand. They want to be inspired, they want to be entertained, they want to be involved. And that makes for a truly thrilling environment. “
The company’s 2014 Latitude offering sees the return of Kate Tempest, who premiered her critically acclaimed shows Wasted and Brand New Ancients at Latitude in 2011 and 2012. Tempest returns to the theatre tent with her latestplay Hopelessly Devoted. Having already received critical acclaim on tour, James and George are looking forward to seeing this show play in a festival environment.
“We’re hugely excited about turning the volume right up on Kate Tempest’s extraordinary musical, and giving the crowd a festival experience as memorable as it will undoubtedly be for us.”
Photo: Richard Davenport
The Latitude Festival runs from 17-20th July and The Public Reviews will be providing full coverage live from the site. Further details www.latitudefestival.com