2018 Festival Programme Revealed

2018 Festival Programme Revealed

Posted on July 3rd, 2018


Steven Atkinson, Artistic Director of HighTide has today released the full line up for the 2018 HighTide Festivals in Aldeburgh and Walthamstow.

HighTide Expands to Three Festivals

For the first time, the company will present a season of five world premiere productions at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, before transferring them to its Aldeburgh and Walthamstow Festivals, as part of a brand-new mentoring scheme for new playwrights and producers. The launch of the programme marks the company’s continued commitment to creating a bridge that supports new theatre makers starting out on the Fringe building on the festival’s proven ability in providing a platform for launching careers in the UK’s leading theatres.

HighTide’s centrepiece production, co-produced with their associate company DugOut Theatre, is a song-laced coming of age tale by Aldeburgh-based writer Tallulah Brown called Songlines. Set in Reydon, Suffolk, it features live folk music from the award-winning band TRILLS. HighTide’s associate productions selected through an open script submission process are: Sparks; Jessica Butcher’s two-hander musical about the brain’s response to grief; Danusia Samal’s gig-theatre piece Busking It, drawing on a decade of busking on the tube; The Extinction Event from David Aula and Simon Evans an examination of what happens when science starts thinking for itself; and finally, Harry Blake’s fierce, fabulous new comedy musical about Norse gods Thor and Loki.


HighTide Aldeburgh

2018 marks the fourth annual HighTide Festival in the coastal town of Aldeburgh, Suffolk, following eight highly successful HighTide Festivals in neighbouring town, Halesworth. Notable new plays and writers premiered in the Aldeburgh HighTide Festival include Al Smith’s Harrogate, which transferred to the Royal Court Theatre and was nominated for the Evening Standard’s Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright, and Girls by rising-star Theresa Ikoko, who is currently under commission to HighTide.

Alongside the five headline shows, HighTide in Aldeburgh, running from 11-16 September, will feature:

East Anglian poet Luke Wright with work in progress Luke Wright, Poet Laureate, Jon Brittain’s acclaimed cabaret musical about depression A Super Happy Story (about Feeling Super Sad), Gail Ludlow and Jeffrey Holland’s …And This is My Friend Mr Laurel, a tribute to one of Hollywood’s greatest film comedians, Isley Lynn’s sexual odyssey Skin A Cat, Woke by Apphia Campbell and Meredith Yarbrough – a new story on twentieth century African-American experience and Soul Sessions with Apphia Campbell direct from sell-out performances across the world. Comedy includes Flo & Joan: Alive on Stage and Adam Kay – This is Going to Hurt (Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor). For families there’s Mrs H Sings, the unique singalong band and One Duck Down – a big adventure about seven thousand rubber ducks. Wonderful Beast will present a sharing of The Last Woodwose staring Diana Quick and Solar Productions present Amy Gwillams’ The Profit. Performances take place across the Aldeburgh Jubilee Hall, Pumphouse, Aldeburgh Cinema, Aldeburgh Beach Lookout and for the first time ever this year late night events will take place in Ye Olde Cross Keys.  The Festival will be partnering with The Aldeburgh Bookshop for literary ‘In Conversations’ with Kate Mosse and Patrick Gale.


Festival Returns to Walthamstow

HighTide have also announced the full line-up for their second year in Walthamstow, following the news of Waltham Forest becoming the Mayor of London’s first London Borough of Culture in 2019, meaning the area will receive £1.35m in funding across the year. The festival, running 18-30 September, will once again be primarily based in the Festival Hub, situated in Walthamstow Town Square Gardens. The Festival Hub is free to enter and features an outdoor stage with nightly music gigs, along with local food and drink vendors. The Festival will include eleven family shows including puppetry from Five Little Monkeys, save the bees with Me and My Bee, Mrs H Sings, an outdoor interactive adventure from How It Ended– The Little Gardener, kids comedy, The Storm Whale with Benji Davies, original songs in Hey Diddle Diddle!, E17 Puppet Project’s The Vote and How to Hide a Lion and Boys Don’t looking at boys’ experiences of growing up. Visiting companies include HighRise Theatre with Lil.Miss.Lady exploring the history of Grime, the UK’s first Theatre Company of Sanctuary, Stand and Be Counted’s Where We Began and a reading of Ali and Dahlia by Tariq Jordan presented by Pleasance Theatre, alongside several more first commissions and readings. The comedy programme will feature Tim Key’s Megadate, Sophie Hagen’s Work in Progress and The Horne Section. There will also be gigs from Arthur Darvill and Ines De Clercq, Soul in the Van and Songlines band TRILLS. HighTide will also present a showcase of some of the hottest young talent from Waltham Forest in a night of performance.

On the return of the Festival, Councillor Clare Coghill, Leader, Waltham Forest Council said:

“Returning with their beautiful pop-up venue in Walthamstow Town Centre, HighTide Festival will once again bring high quality and accessible theatre and live performance to our public spaces and local venues. Building on the successes of the 2017 Festival, this year’s HighTide is providing an even greater platform for our local artists to create work in their own community. There is a real buzz about culture in our borough as we step up to be the first ever London Borough of Culture in 2019. We are proud to support projects such as HighTide, which continue to build our reputation as a cultural destination, and which ensure arts and culture is accessible to all our residents here on our doorstep.”