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Page last updated at 12:15 GMT, Thursday, 15 July 2010 13:15 UK
Latitude Festival 2010: UFO sightings at Henham Park
Medicine Shop's glowing orb
The Medicine Shop is lighting up Latitude

By Benedict Kent
BBC Introducing Blast reporter

Local theatre group The Medicine Shop is taking its (Ex)Sightings show to the Latitude Festival for a series of night-time performances.

Inspired by the UFO sightings at Bentwaters airbase, spectators will witness an eclectic mix of special effects, soundscapes and AV lighting.

Centre stage is a four and a half metre diameter dome.

"We hope it will be a bit of a beacon that people will stumble across, a very unusual space," said Cad Taylor.

The dome is filled with smoke and light and Cad, one of the theatre group's members and organiser, is confident it will be seen from around the festival site.

Since forming three years ago, the Woodbridge-based theatre group has concentrated on small audiences, with sets only allowing for 15 to 20 people.

At last year's Latitude they were encouraged by a successful performance of Ten Minutes To Go. This year they perform a number of shows that they hope will generate a buzz amongst the festival crowd.

"Scientists come in and explore the dome, get assimilated into the space, try and escape, one of them gets trapped and there's an ending," she said.

Medicine Shop's orb in rehearsals
Faux FBI agents will make sure the Latitude crowd are well behaved

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the alleged UFO sightings at Rendlesham Forest next to Bentwaters, where the US Airforce was stationed.

The performance is based on the public sightings around the forest and the original reports of pilots and soldiers.

"It's really funny," said Cad. "Where I grew up, about seven of my neighbours saw the UFO - or so they say.

"We got all these stories together and used all of the original tapes and recordings and just workshopped it for ages going, 'what can we do?'"

An eerie experience

Whilst the plot may be tongue-in-cheek, featuring scared scientists, US pilots and FBI agents, the sensory effects are aimed to create an eerie experience.

"We've used about 50 different music samples from original recordings to bits of Photek and Sonic Blast. I think the eerie nature of it comes from these recordings and the soundscape we've created."

The experience is interactive in as much as FBI agents are placed among the audience, without the festival-goers knowing who they are.

Whilst the drama only lasts 15 minutes, the performance promises to be a curious and potentially captivating encounter.

The Medicine Shop has also collaborated with Ben Osborne, curator of the project Noise of Art.

Noise of Art is organising a rave on Friday night in the Film and Music Arena that, like '(Ex)Sightings', is also taking a UFO theme.

"[Ben]'s got loads of extra peripheral performers - FBI, aliens, Men in Black. We're stealing them," said Cad.

"What we're hoping is that it won't be traditional theatre. You'll want to come back again the following night."

You can catch (Ex)Sightings near to Pandora's Playground, at the entrance to the Far Away Forrest, another new addition to Latitude this year.

The UFO incident has also been covered in the latest play by Eastern Angles called Bentwaters Roads which has been staged in a hangar at the former airbase.


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