Every HighTide production and play reading starts life as a commission, and we find our writers through an annual programme called First Commissions. We work with 6 writers who are paired with our Associate Artists to develop an idea from conception to full production – two of which are produced for performance at a HighTide Festival.
HighTide First Commissions and Royal and Derngate present a reading of English by Melanie Spencer.
How do you thrive in a country in which you cannot speak a word? A play in Polish, English and Scottish dialect that explores themes of connection and communication, where every character discovers that they do not speak the language.
Melanie is a writer-director with several projects in development with support from the Royal Court, National Theatre Studio, Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Wellcome Trust. Credits as writer-director include Responsible Other at Hampstead Theatre, which received four star reviews from The Times, Evening Standard, The Independent, Time Out, The Stage, The Arts Desk and What’s On Stage. Other recent credits as director include Chicken and Saxon Court (Southwark Playhouse), Honest (MBB) and Tender (RWCMD). Credits as assistant director include productions for Donmar Warehouse, Soho Theatre, Gate, Tamasha, Headlong and as staff director to Marianne Elliott on Rules for Living at the National Theatre. Melanie was also part of the Channel Four Screenwriter’s Initiative in 2014 and was National Theatre of Scotland’s Pearson Playwright Prize nominee in the same year. Most recently, Melanie worked as a casting director to Simon Amstell on CARNAGE for BBC iPlayer.
Running time: 1 h 10m