Coming up

Frontrunner blog: ‘Nice to meet you!’

Hi I’m Matthew. I’m 19 Years old and I am Lakeside Theatre’s new Marketing and Events Frontrunner Plus for the summer.

I heard about Frontrunners during the first year of my Theatre Studies degree, while receiving a talk from the Careers Hub. They explained the opportunities available and guided me to placements I’d be most suitable for – the Lakeside Theatre placement ticked all the boxes!

I’ve only been in this post for two weeks and already this placement is giving me opportunities to learn the ins and outs of running a theatre.

I’m particularly excited to be supporting the team with the running of the Youth Theatre on Saturdays which helps me prepare for post-uni life – I want to be a teacher!

Best thing about being the newbie in the team? Everyone made me feel comfortable straight away. Even the Interview was relaxed and fun, giving me the chance to explain my strengths and show my willingness to develop.

I know this placement will help me become more rounded in my knowledge of the theatre industry and give me the experience I need to progress with the next steps in my life. I’ve loved working on the stage as a student and I can’t wait to see where working behind the scenes will take me!

I’ll be updating you along my journey, so keep an eye on this blog.

P.S If you’re interested in working with Lakeside Theatre, there are three frontrunner positions up for grabs starting in the Autumn term. The deadline for applications is today!

Could you be our next Frontrunner?

The deadline for our next Frontrunner position closes this Friday (22 June).

See the full list of opportunities available, HERE.

Then, if you think you’ve got the skills and passion to join us, apply!

We’ve got our fingers crossed for you! 🤞

Meet Elena, she’s just spent the year wowing us as our Marketing Frontrunner (as well as working for Art Exchange!) Now it’s time for her to graduate and we’re on the lookout for someone new to start in the Autumn term.Could it be you?APPLY BY FRIDAY:

Posted by Lakeside Theatre on Tuesday, 19 June 2018

“Giving a voice back to young people”

MA student, Fabiana Sforza, offers a challenging perspective on the Manchester Arena attack in a new verbatim play this week.

Find out how it came together and get your ticket

Tell us what’s been challenging about bringing this script to life?

Well this is a brand-new piece of writing which has been gathered together with bits and pieces of interviews, vlogs and blogs. This makes the play a heavy legacy for the actors and director to carry. I’ve worked with young people to devise some of the scenes and they told me that, in their opinion, the biggest challenge was carrying the voices of people who have been through an extremely traumatic event. With any verbatim play, you have to remember it’s a true story being told – we need to portray that with respect.

What will the audience be thinking about after seeing the show?

How much strength, compassion, resilience and love young people carry with them.

How is your production bringing something new to this story? 

This is one of the first plays about the Manchester attack ever written. Whilst gathering material for the play, I realised that, although this was a tragedy that affected mainly young people, the news coverage around it had been reframed by adults. 10:31, MCR is about giving a voice back to the young people

Which young people did you work with? 

I was incredibly lucky to collaborate with the Youth group at the Mercury Theatre, who really took on the challenge and helped me shape the piece. This is one of the many reasons I am putting on this play – we need to allow the younger generations to talk about these events, to discuss and process feelings and to not let them disappear in a pre-existing, dangerous, hateful mentality.

When you’re not making theatre, what are you up to? 

I help with other aspects of theatre – I work Front of House, Box Office and Creative Learning and Talent at the Mercury Theatre, and I love it. I am also collaborating with the Human Rights Centre this summer to organize a Human Rights Arts Festival.

What’s the last thing you do before the curtain goes up? 

During my BA at Essex I gained lots of experience as a Stage Manager and Producer. Before the curtain goes up, I like to check that the setting list for props is being followed, that the technicians are on cans at the lighting and sound box, and that the actors are ready to step on stage – I once started the second half of a show whilst two cast members were in the toilet. Oops!!

But for 10:31, MCR I’ll be sitting very calmly before it starts, because the actors I have been working with and the young people who have helped me develop the piece are brilliant and they’ll do an incredible job!

Don’t miss Fabs’ show in our studio space this week.  

Tickets are free and can be booked via Eventbrite HERE.


Calling all creatives!

Every season at Lakeside Theatre we invites proposals from current and former University of Essex students for our studio space. These shows make up our ‘Homegrown’ programme.

What are we looking for?
Something that will inspire and excite our audiences.

Who can apply?
University of Essex students and alumni. You don’t need theatre experience to apply we want to hear from anyone who has a good idea for a show!

What’s the deadline?
Midnight on Friday 15 June 2018.

When are the studio slots?

  • Oct 23rd/24th, 2018
  • Nov 6th/7th, 2018
  • Nov 20th/21st, 2018

Want to apply?
Great! First up, make sure you read our Studio Slot Application Guidelines (below). Once you’ve done that, download the application form (also below) and send it to by Friday 15 June 2018.

Got a question?
Email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Download the following to apply:

Good luck lovely people!

Behind the scenes of ‘Re:Write’

The Theatre Art Society’s annual playwriting competition ‘Re:Write’ is coming to our main stage on Friday. To get a feel for what it’s all about, we spoke to John Stammers who is entering the competition with his play ‘Bloodback’.

You have 20 words to tell us about you – go!

I’m in my fourth year at the University of Essex studying MA Playwriting and I previously studied BA Creative Writing.

What’s your show about?

The story revolves around a single family. The youngest daughter, Ruby, has given birth to a baby boy, but she has not told anyone who the father is. In the world of this play, absentee fathers are criminals and women will make sure a man is punished for it.

Where do your ideas come from?

It all started with a conversation I had with a friend studying philosophy. We thought about how it feels when you stand on the edge of a cliff and you have that horrible urge to jump. It’s scary because it’s a reminder of how fragile we all are. It makes you realise we have the freedom to make that choice, just as we have the freedom to make any choices. We are in control of our own lives, and that inspired one scene which I’ve now developed into this play.

Are you feeling nervous about the competition?

Not about the competition because, as much as I would love to win, being able to put my writing on a stage is really rewarding. I’m nervous about the reception this piece might get though…

What’s going to surprise us about this show?

The lines the play crosses will divide opinion. I fully expect the play not to be for everyone, but I hope those who see it will understand the reasoning behind my creative decisions.

Why should someone come and see ‘Re:Write’ this week?

Five plays for £5 is a great deal and not just for regular theatre goers.

My brother had never seen a theatre show until he came to the first Re:Write. We all expected him to get bored but he loved it! The competition allows people to get a taste for different styles of theatre because usually the five plays are very different – naturalistic, absurdist, big casts, small casts, there’s even a monologue play this year.

Finally, what does the Lakeside Theatre mean to you?

It’s given me a job, facilitated strong friendships, and provided a platform for my work. My life at university would be very different without the theatre and the people who make it.

See John’s play, and four other pieces of new writing, at the ‘Re:Write’ competition this Friday 1 June (7.30pm).
We’ll announce the winning play at the end of the performances. Book your seats to see who takes home the crown, HERE.

Free fizz on us!

We’re delighted to announce that you can now get a free glass of fizz with your meal at The Brasserie at Wivenhoe House when you dine before ANY show!

Yep, that’s right. No longer limited to just Screenings, your ticket to any main stage or student show (or Screening!) will be enough to nab you a free glass of bubbles with your meal. Just show your ticket or booking confirmation email to your server.

Food is served all day and Wivenhoe House is only a few minutes walk from the theatre.

Click here to view the menu or email for more information.

Become a Young Reviewer

Are you a college or sixth-form student? Do you love the theatre? Want to gain some more writing experience?

Click on the link below to find out more!

Young Reviewer Pack

Submit your own show proposal!

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.

Who can apply?
All University of Essex students and Alumni. You don’t need any theatre experience to apply – we are completely open to all!

What’s the deadline?
Midnight on Sunday 5 November 2017

What dates will your show be?

Tuesday 30 – Wednesday 31 January
Tuesday 6 – Wednesday 7 February
Tuesday 20 – Wednesday 21 February
Tuesday 8 – Wednesday 9 May

What are we looking for?
ANYTHING! But read the guidelines document for full information.

How do I apply?
Firstly, make sure you read our Studio Slot Application Guidelines. Once you’ve done that download the application form below and send it to by the deadline date.

Got a question?
Email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can

Good luck!




Lakeside Theatre tote bags are here!

The cat’s out of the (tote) bag…

We’re very excited to officially reveal our brand new Lakeside Theatre tote bags. Want to get your hands on one? All you have to do is become a Lakeside Theatre member…

If you sign up for a Lakeside Theatre membership before 31 October 2017 you’ll get an exclusive tote bag absolutely FREE. Not to mention 365 days of cheap tickets and freebies!

Pop into the cafe to pick your design – there are four to choose from – but be quick, as they’re only available while stocks last. You can buy a Lakeside Theatre membership online here or from the cafe.


Studio show proposals – now closed!

Due to popular demand we’re giving you one more chance to put on your own show in our Studio this Autumn term!

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. Find out all the juicy details below.

What dates will the show be? Tuesday 24 – Wednesday 25 October

Who can apply? All University of Essex students and Alumni. You don’t need to have any theatre experience to apply – we are completely open to all!

What are we looking for? ANYTHING! But we are particularly interested in applications surrounding Black History Month. 

How do I apply? Download the application form below and send it to by the deadline date.

Good luck!


Applications are now CLOSED but keep an eye out for when they re-open for the 207/18 Summer term!