News: Latitude Festival Gets Sexy and Scientific

20130812_193432At Cliterati, we’ve long thought that science is sexy – and that sex can be enhanced with some scientific understanding so this year’s Latitude Festival theme has got us rather excited. Their theme for this year isn’t the standard festival fare, say, fairgrounds or mythical creatures but instead, the rather more intellectually challenging ‘Neuroscience vs. Sex: What Defines Me?’ in association with The Wellcome Trust. (Yes, it took us a little longer than usual to think of a costume too. It’s far too hot to wear a vulva outfit at the moment).

Sex on the Brain

Recent advancements in neuroscience are transforming the study of the brain and nervous system from a branch of biology into a wellspring of stories to explain the people we are and the societies we form.

As such, neuroscience now grips contemporary artists, writers, performers and thinkers in a way we have not seen since developments in psychoanalysis shook up creative and intellectual life in the 1950’s.

Alongside neuroscience, Latitude will also explore the subject of sex, looking at the central roles that sex, gender and sexual orientation play in creating our individual and collective identities.

Fun in the Forest

See the wonder and feel the atmosphere of Amsterdam come to life in The Faraway Forest! Latitude’s playground for ideas and experimentation, The Faraway Forest will this year play host to the Wellcome Trust, which will explore the theme of Neuroscience vs. Sex: What Defines Me? through a programme of events and installations which team prominent neuroscientists with artists. These events were developed as part of Wonder: Art and Science on the Brain, a partnership between Barbican and Wellcome Trust, and their presence at Latitude 2013 is supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Cliterati and the Grden of Desires at Latitude

Cliterati founder, Emily Dubberley, was honoured to be selected as one of Wellcome’s guests, and will be interviewed about her new book on female sexual fantasy, Garden of Desires, on Sunday at 3pm.

She will also be running kinky crafting in the Faraway Forest with Home Live Art until 12.00 on Friday night and from 6.30-8.30 on Saturday, with the help of Cliterati’s Rose Crompton.Craft a Georgia O’ Keefe inspired bloom (or perhaps you’re more of a mushroom?) and help the garden of desires grow. Join us in making a giant ladygarden collage or make your fantasy in peg dolls: share you fantasy by getting arty.

Emily will also be reading an exclusive extract from Garden of Desires on Saturday at 6.30pm in the Ebury tent (leaving Rose Crompton running the kinky crafting). Featuring fantasies from over 400 women, what can female sexual fantasy tell us about female sexuality – if anything?

Look but Don’t Touch

PEEP invites festival goers into a private booth to watch (but not touch) top UK and international writers and performers across art forms. Featuring specially commissioned work from playwright Kefi Chadwick including a new piece Le Petit Morte and an interactive piece which will be made at the festival titled When I have sex with you I, plus Argentine dance company Diego y Ulises, with a dance piece that will prove hard to forget for those lucky enough to squeeze in and see it.

I Am What I Am

Blogger Momma Loves will discuss all things children and neuroscience with a series of talks and workshops and Stonewall, Britain’s leading lesbian, gay and bisexual charity will join The Faraway Forest. The charity believes that everyone should be able to be themselves – regardless of how they were born – and Latitude is the perfect place to explore that. Stonewall won’t rest until every single gay person can be themselves without fear of bullying or unfair treatment.

Kinky Cabaret

Cliterati favourite Desmond O’ Connor (not that one – this one has a ukelele and an evil sense of humour) will be taking part in several sexy shows.

Desmond O’Connor (Cabaret Arena, 19:00 Saturday) is an internationally renowned, razor-sharp word-smith, whose witty songs are guaranteed to shock, charm and entertain. Likened to a modern-day Noel Coward, his’s lightning-quick delivery and multi-instrumental artistry are a joy to behold and are guaranteed to be a cheeky highlight of your weekend at Latitude.If you like Tom Lehrer, you’ll love Des.

Life by Misadventure (Literary Salon, 17:15 Friday) is a more serious piece, based around a circumcision operation gone horribly wrong, bringing chaos and fear into the lives of a young family and a golden opportunity to the door of a celebrated psychologist.

Male identical twins; one raised as a boy, the other as a girl. The chance to prove beyond any doubt that gender is as much a result of how we are treated as a manifestation of the brains and the bodies with which we are born. Desmond O’Connor’s moving and powerful treatment of this devastating true story uses movement, puppetry, story-telling and song to explore one of the best-intentioned and most ill-advised experiments in the history of gender psychology. A three-handed music-theatre piece, starring Jonny Woo, Zoie Kennedy and Simon Kane, Life by Misadventure questions the lengths to which a family would go to have a ‘normal’ child and the depths to which a doctor would sink in order to prove a theory.

And in the neon-lit twilight of the Twice Shy Peep Show (Faraway Forest, 23:00 Fri/Sun) strings are being pulled, but whose and by whom? A claustrophobic courtesan renders her voyeurs little more than marionettes and leaves them hanging on the edge of desire. In this sleazy den of frictional iniquity, once you have been bitten you will crave a little more. The Twice Shy Peep Show is a short-form feast of immersive, interactive theatre starring a life-size Bunraku puppet, three puppeteers, a suitably seedy MC and a dark, disquieting soundtrack, all squeezed into a space little bigger than a garden shed. The piece, conceived by Zoie Kennedy with original music by Desmond O’Connor, is designed to thrill, disturb and challenge perceptions of what we desire and who holds the strings of power in erotic exchanges.

The Sexiest Festival This Year

Cliterati is very excited to be a part of this year’s Latitude Festival: Follow us on Twitter  @cliterati1 for the latest news. For more information see

Posted in Cliterati Magazine, Events, News and Comment, Science

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *