THE creativity of artists and theatre fanatics from East Anglia will be celebrated later this month as part of a performing arts venue’s virtual festival.

Mercury Theatre, in Colchester, is holding an online festival, in collaboration with the University of Essex, Signals, and the Lakeside Theatre.

The forward-thinking show will give talented performers a unique opportunity to showcase their work, in lieu of being able to actually perform due to coronavirus.

The three-day festival, which more than 120 different acts applied to be a part of, has been programmed to include digital artworks, theatre writing and dance sessions.

It will also give a platform to thought-provoking animation pieces, side-splitting comedy sketches, and interactive and intricate online gaming creations.

The extensive and jam-packed festival, which runs from August 21-23, will using streaming platforms like YouTube and Zoom to deliver performances to audiences.

Ryan McBryde, the Mercury Theatre’s creative director, is pleased to be able to continue entertaining audiences at a time when the arts industry is struggling.

“While theatres remain dark, the Mercury remains determined to find new ways to support and champion the work of artists across our region,” he said.

“We hope our online festival will introduce our audiences to some really exciting new companies and works.

“We are so proud to be presenting this incredible digital programme ready to stream directly to your screens.

“I urge you to check out the full weekend’s line-up, there really is something for everyone.”

In addition to theatre performances from the likes of the Packing Shed Theatre Company and Get Lost & Found, technology workshops will also be on offer.

There will also be displays of spoken word from homegrown wordsmiths, Gail Egbeson, Natascha Graham and James McDermott.

All of the festival’s events and performances are free to watch and engage with, but audience members are being asked to make voluntary donation.

Like shows in a real, physical theatres, a majority of the performances will also have a limited capacity, so guests are encouraged to book their spaces in advance.

To find out more about the Mercury Theatre’s online festival and to book a performance visit