A Latitude 2016 Diary

Reporter: David Chadderton

Dateline: 24th July, 2016

Friday

My Friday viewing began in a caravan in the outdoor space known as Pandora's Playground with an intriguing solo show, Mobile by The Paper Birds, for a very small audience that turned out to be about class and the dilemma between wanting to escape your upbringing and not wanting to betray your roots. A lovely little piece.

Then it was back to the Theatre Arena for Graeae's Reasons to be Cheerful, which was a perfect choice for this environment being basically a concert of Ian Dury songs with a few bits of script to link them together. Unfortunately it had technical issues that spoiled it a bit, but it was still a joyful experience.

Next up, Animo from Improbable and Blind Summit, an improvisation show that uses puppetry with everyday objects and gives each situation plenty of time to develop into something rather than abandoning any scene that doesn't get laughs after a minute or two. Led by impro veteran Lee Simpson, who is also performing here with Paul Merton's Impro Chums, this was skilfully created and surprisingly moving.

Wandering back across the field, I caught a small amount of the performance of Jackie Kay, the latest Scottish Makar, through the doorway of the Poetry Arena before taking up position in the Obelisk Arena, the largest stage on the site, for Father John Misty. He's quite a showman and gave a great performance, keeping security on their toes as he wandered into the crowd and also his stage crew as he flung his guitar aside for them to catch.

In the Literature Arena, I heard a bit of an interview with comedian Shappi Khorsandi, there to promote her debut novel, and the beginning of a very entertaining interview with writer David Quantick, before rushing back to the Theatre Arena for Svalbard's circus-based All Genius, All Idiot, which I found rather less entertaining.

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