By Paul T Davies

There is a terrific season coming up at the Lakeside Theatre at Essex University.

In addition to live screenings from the RSC, (As You Like It, April 17, The Taming of the Shrew, June 5, Measure for Measure July 31), NT Live screen The Old Vic’s production of All My Sons, starring Sally Field and Bill Pullman on May 14.

Visiting companies are bringing an impressive range of shows to the venue, including, on Valentine’s Day, A Hundred Words For Love by James Rowland. Three years ago he met the love of his life, and a year later they split up. This is his story of love, and also being a Best Man, with live music and words. Sounds like a good alternative to Valentine’s Day soppiness.

On March 7, a reworking of the Greek tragedy Medea is presented by Pecho Mama, called Medea Electronica, staged as an electrifying live gig.

The following Thursday. March 14, comes Orlando, by the team that created the award winning Jane Eyre: An Autobiography. Based on the classic novel by Virginia Woolf, the tale is of her gender bending hero/heroine from the 1500s to the present day - one not to be missed.

The Mystery of Raddlesham Mumps is a family show created by poet and broadcaster Murray Lachlan Young, and performs April 11 and 12, and puppet show Out of the Hat on February 20 offers more family delights.

Last but not least on the professional front is Colchester's very own Packing Shed Theatre Company, who will be taking last summer's hit All Hail Macbeth on a regional tour of Suffolk and Norfolk, starting off at the Lakeside Theatre on June 26.

There are some good student productions being staged, including Woman From Bethany, exploring mass shootings in America and the aftermath on survivors, on February 19 and 20, and don’t miss Colours of Our Blood, presented by the University of Essex Malaysian Society on February 23, a tale of friends ripped apart when the Japanese invade Malaya in World War Two.

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