Coming up

Spring 2024 programme launches

Wed 17 Jan 2024

Lakeside Theatre spring season 2024 launch graphic

Spring 2024 programme launches at the Lakeside Theatre

Repost: originally posted on the University of Essex blog.

Lakeside Theatre spring season 2024 launch graphic

We’re launching our spring 2024 programme of live theatre, performing arts, screenings, homegrown student productions, free workshops and more this January 2024.

The spring 2024 line-up

The Lakeside Theatre is the University of Essex’s Colchester campus theatre and is the hub for performing arts on campus. We aim to reflect the student experience with our shows, events and workshops and to make theatre accessible to everyone!

This spring, we are focussed on supporting the student experience at Essex with a range of LGBTQ+ shows, student theatre and creative workshops, but we also have family friendly shows and are playing host to some major University events too.

LGBTQ+ History Month

For LGBTQ+ History Month 2024 we will be hosting a variety of performances, workshops and screenings. Much of our LGBTQ+ line-up has been curated or created by University of Essex students and alumni and we are so excited to be able to showcase Essex LGBTQ+ talent!

Our very own Front of House star and PhD Theatre Studies candidate, Noah Alfred Pantano is curating and producing trans writer PhD Creative Writing candidate Alice Stephens’ pioneering piece Spit It Out which explores the process of coming out to friends and family, and Joe Eason’s Two Come Home, a play with music. Two Come Home is a world premiere and explores the harsh realities of being gay in a rural community, set to an incredible score!

We also hand over our beloved café space for an evening of drag cabaret with Shar Cooterie on Saturday 10 February. Enjoy an evening of queer classics performed by Shar and accompanied by Adam Saiz Abo-Henriksen on piano.

Two of our homegrown season shows explore lesbian and queer themes, don’t miss Swipe, Life and Gate Number 5 by East 15 alumna Henriette Laursen on 13 and 14 February and Sunrise by BA Drama alumna Stacey Paull on 20 and 21 February – both shows are only £5.50 entry.

We also welcome the incredible Chloe Filani to deliver a free writing workshop for students on 1 February. Chloe is a black and trans poet, writer, artist and performer and will facilitate a writing workshop in a safe and relaxed spaces where participants can explore their creativity and practice through sensory interaction and conversation.

In partnership with Noah Alfred Pantano and Dr Sean Seeger from the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, we will be screening two core-text films from module LT976: Queer: Literature, Culture and History and while students taking the module are strongly encouraged to join us for the screenings, they are open to all staff and students at Essex to enjoy! Join us for David Weissman’s 2011 film We Were Here on 13 February and Cheryl Dunye’s 1996 film The Watermelon Woman on 21 February.

Family friendly

We are very happy to be able to offer a family friendly theatre performance at the Lakeside Theatre this spring! In response to Essex student and staff feedback about providing more family friendly options, we present Fuel Theatre’s Protest on Saturday 24 February.

Three girls prepare to stand up for what they believe in despite the injustices stacked against them in this new play exploring what it takes to make a difference, the power of friendship, and the importance of believing in your own voice.


From Vision Board Making to Creative Writing workshops, we are hosting a range of free workshops to help inspire your creativity in a relaxed and safe space. Our Vision Board Making workshops will help you manifest your best self this spring, while Creative Writing workshops, facilitated by PhD Creative Writing candidate Emma Kittle, will help you explore your creativity in a peer supported environment.

All our workshops are open to ANY University of Essex student, you don’t need to be studying Creative Writing to try your hand at it!

University events

The Lakeside Theatre will play host to a number of University events this spring. From Professorial Inaugural Lectures (PILs) to a very special celebration of the founding of the University’s museum, the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA).

You can find out more about the PILs which are scheduled to take place in the Lakeside on the Professorial Inaugural Lectures webpage and please book your place to welcome ESCALA founding directors, Professor Valerie Fraser and Professor Dawn Ades CBE, back to Essex for a very special talk on how they founded the Collection on Tuesday 23 January.


The Lakeside Theatre’s ever popular National Theatre Live screenings are back for the spring season with a really exciting line-up! Bringing theatre from the West End to Colchester, at very affordable prices!

Don’t miss Joseph Fiennes in Dear England on 25 January, Andrew Scott in Vanya on 22 February, Mark Gatiss and Johnny Flynn in The Motive and the Cue on 21 March and Michael Sheen in Nye on 25 April.

Homegrown season

Our homegrown season is here where we welcome University of Essex students, staff and alumni to perform on our studio stage for two nights! We will be announcing new homegrown shows throughout the spring season and shows are only £5.50 entry for everyone! Come and support our talented community of writers, actors and producers and find out more about our homegrown shows.

We also welcome BA Theatre Studies student Emma Kopf in a return to the Lakeside Theatre main stage with her new play, SpaceEater. Winner of the Essex Theatre Arts Society Re:Write competition in June 2023, SpaceEater promises to unnerve and entertain us all on Friday 8 March!

And where would we be without the Theatre Arts Society headlining our programme? We are very excited to present the Theatre Arts Society’s spring show, Twelfth Night! But not as you know it… Lolly Taylor and Alice Bain treat you to a Love Island inspired take on Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy on 14 and 15 March.

Welcome back

We can’t wait to welcome the University of Essex staff, student and alumni community and the Wivenhoe and Colchester communities back to the Lakeside Theatre this spring.

If you love the Lakeside, you can become a member from just £6 for 12 months membership. Lakeside Theatre members get a free tote bag when they join, free popcorn at National Theatre Live screenings, discounted tickets and discounted bar snacks and drinks too!

You can also sign-up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about new events! And make sure you follow us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter/X.