It feels like coming home: Jacko Pook on Play Something

Play Something 2

Each new performance that takes to the Lakeside Theatre stage is exciting…  but excitement levels go through the roof when it stars a University of Essex graduate!

We spoke to ex Drama student Jacko Pook about his upcoming performance in Play Something by Paul T. Davies, a poignant tale of LGBT love.

Hi Jacko. Introduce yourself!

My name is Jacko Pook. I completed a BA in Drama and an MA in Playwriting at the University of Essex. I am currently trying to find and take opportunities to do more acting, whilst also trying to find platforms for my poetry, playwriting, and music.

It’s been a few years since you graduated from University of Essex. How was your time here?

I only graduated with my MA last summer, so it hasn’t actually been that long. University was an eye-opening experience for me. I have learned some essential skills and had a small insight into the industry I want to be a part of. However I maintain that the greatest gift I had from my years at the University of Essex was that I learned some important lessons about who I am. This is probably very much to do with my age whilst at university, but I would be drastically different if I had not spent these formative years in such a tolerant and thoughtful environment.


Dinner and a show deals


Looking for the perfect date night plans? Fancy some fine dining or looking for a quick bite before the show? We’ve teamed up with Wivenhoe House and The Olive Branch to offer you two delicious dinner options for our Live Screenings.

Free prosecco

Head to Wivenhoe House and enjoy a free glass of prosecco with your meal! Show your ticket or booking confirmation email and you’ll get a free glass of bubbles.

Dinner is available from 5pm and Wivenhoe House is only a 5 minute walk from the theatre. Visit or call 01206 863666 for more information.

Syrian pop-up

Wivenhoe favourite The Olive Branch will be serving authentic Syrian food in our Cafe from 6 – 7pm. Fill your boots with delicious falafel, hummus and wraps, the perfect quick bite before the show starts.

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts to be kept up-to-date with when they’ll be here.

Now all you need to do is book a ticket to a live screening! Find out what we’ve got coming up 

And don’t forget – we’ve got free parking! #bonus

Live screening tickets now just £8.50 for students


This academic year we’ve brought you various National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company live screenings and encore screenings such as No Man’s Land and The Tempest, and the response so far has been great – and we have some exciting news…

Tickets for University of Essex students are now just £8.50 in advance or £10 on the door! Check out what’s coming up here here.

We hope that you’ll take advantage of this new offer by booking your ticket for some upcoming events such as NT Live: Twelfth Night (Thursday 6 April) and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Thursday 20 April).

And to further tempt you, here is a trailer for Twelfth Night…

50% off ticket deal!

songs for the end

As St Patrick’s Day is fast approaching, we thought what better way to celebrate than to offer you a theatre deal you can’t resist?

For the performance of Songs For The End Of The World on Friday 17th, we’re offering you your ticket for half price, with your ticket giving you access to cheaper drinks throughout the entire night – including The Hook in the Lakeside Cafe, which starts at 9pm.

Drinks include a double, (yes double!) Irish whiskey and coke for just £2.50 and a pint of Guinness for the same price.

Don’t miss out on a great evening!

We’re on the lookout for a Front of House Duty Manager!


Would you like to be a part of our theatre family at the Lakeside? Well, we’re searching for a new Duty Manager to join our front-of-house team!

The Duty Manager will be responsible for the smooth running of events and performances at the theatre, managing the front-of-house assistants and volunteer ushers. The position will provide valuable experience working in a customer-focused environment and in performance venue management.

So if you love the theatre and you’d like to be part of our exciting programme of events, take a look at our job pack below:

Duty Manager job pack

The closing date for applications is 18th December, and interviews will take place on the week beginning 9th January.

Studio slots for Spring and Summer terms are open for submissions!


Every season the Lakeside Theatre invites proposals from current and former University of Essex students to make shows for our Studio Theatre as part of our Homegrown Shows programme.

Since 2013 we’ve encouraged students to form companies that have enabled them to direct, produce and technically manage over 20 small scale studio shows. Over the course of Spring and Summer Term in 2017, up to 5 new shows have the opportunity to be produced.

Lakeside Theatre Studio Shows are awarded by application and all forms can be found below! All University of Essex Students and Alumni are eligible to apply. If you want to produce your own show in the Studio we’d love to hear from you.

We look for productions that:
- Complement the LiFTS curriculum.
- Will inspire and excite our audiences.
- Contribute to the cultural conversation on campus.

The Lakeside Theatre will also consider any original theatre scripts. All proposals to be submitted by 5pm, 2nd November 2016.

Any questions regarding these documents to be emailed to Barbara Pierson and Genine Sumner



The Art Café is coming…

Would you like a place on campus to read books and make friends?

Need a cosy nook to discuss the best works from the annals of art history?

Want to bring back the bustling cafe culture that influenced Paris’s ‘Lost Generation’ in the 1920s? (Okay, that one’s a bit of a stretch.)

Then come on down to The Art Café, an initiative brought to you by “L’Art pour l’art” – the University of Essex’s art society – and the Lakeside Theatre. This concept has been developed with the aspiration to make art accessible to the many. The Art Café is open to all, allowing attendees full access to the society’s collection of books. The collection includes poetry, philosophy & art history texts. All books will be free for you to read in the warm, hospitable atmosphere of the Lakeside Theatre Café.

The first Art Café will take place on Monday 24th October at 3pm-5pm.

Please note: the books which belong to the collection will not be available to withdraw and must be returned at the end of the event, so everyone is able to have access to them in the future.

The Lakeside Youth Theatre is looking for workshop practitioners!


The Lakeside Youth Theatre is looking expand it’s team of practitioners!

The Youth Theatre takes place every Saturday and has two age groups:

10-11.15am: 7-11 years

11.15-1.15pm: 12-18 years

We are looking for someone to cover both sessions. They would be running the workshop with another practitioner and also two of our student frontrunners (interns).

The sessions are held at the Lakeside Theatre, University of Essex, and we’re looking for cover in the short term for this Saturday 8th October and also 22nd October. Future sessions will also be available.

Our rate for both sessions is £50 (9.45-13.15), and payment is by invoice only.

If interested please contact Faye-Justine:

Lights up on National Theatre & RSC Live at the Lakeside!


We’re proud to announce that – after lots of hard work behind the scenes – National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company Live screenings are coming to the Lakeside!

We’ll be bringing you the best productions from the best theatre venues in the UK, and projecting them straight onto our cyclorama wall in the main auditorium. This will be the only local venue that screens the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company productions in an intimate theatre setting, where you can experience London theatre right here at the University of Essex’s Colchester campus. And if that’s not enough, there’s free parking nearby, easy access, and a vibrant bar where you can enjoy pre-show and interval drinks as if you are really there!

You can enjoy these shows for just £10 a ticket for students/concessions, with a full price of £13.

Our first screenings feature the most acclaimed playwrights in modern history: Terence Rattigan, Bertolt Brecht, Harold Pinter, George Bernard Shaw and Henrik Ibsen. Not a bad start, is it?

You can purchase your tickets for the first two screenings from the Lakeside website now:

This will be followed in the new year by:

  • January 11 (RSC live) - The Tempest by William Shakespeare, starring Simon Russell Beale
  • January 12 (NT encore) - No Man’s Land by Harold Pinter, starring Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart
  • Feburary 2 (NT live) – Amadeus by Peter Shaffer, starring Lusian Msamati
  • February 16 (NT live) - Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw, starring Gemma Arterton
  • March 9 (NT live) - Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, starring Ruth Wilson

We’re recruiting!


We’re now on the lookout for new faces to join our front-of-house team! So if you want to be part of our theatre family delivering first-class customer service for our audiences, click below for the details.

Deadline for submissions is September 16th. If you have any queries, please contact

FoH Assistant Job Pack