Announcing the Lighthouse Programme

Announcing the Lighthouse Programme

Posted on March 20th, 2020

We’re in unprecedented times. Our priority right now is how we take care of each other, our families, friends and the most vulnerable people around us. At HighTide, we know that theatre can form a huge part of that – creativity keeps us connected and we want to help people do that even if we have to be physically distant. We’re proud today to announce our Lighthouse Programme, brand new projects and programmes today for artists, audiences and communities, specifically created to bring light in the weeks ahead.

While these are projects we’ve invented in the past few days, they reflect the values and mission that sit at the heart of HighTide: to introduce audiences to new work that speaks to the times we live in by the most exciting and diverse writers in the UK; to support emerging writers on their journey to changing the world; and to engage communities in our home region in Suffolk.

Every single project and programme in the Lighthouse Programme is offered for free at this time. If you can, please do donate any amount, large or small to help us maintain these activities for as long as this crisis continues, via the DONATE button at the bottom of this page.

Script Reading Service and announcing our Associate Artists

We are pleased to offer a new service to keep playwrights engaged and moving forwards with their practice. Led by our newly appointed Associate Artists, throughout this period of shutdown we will commit to regularly reading and feeding back on scripts submitted to us.

The service is open to all UK playwrights however priority will be given to writers who are: based in our home region of East of England (Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex);  and/or are from socio-economically deprived backgrounds.

It’s vital that writers know their work is held carefully and considered by truly diverse world-class readers. It feels right that this is how we now announce our new set of HighTide Associate Artists: Aisha Zia, Chinonyerem Odimba, Chris Sonnex and The Queer House.

Script submission windows will be 2 – 3 day windows with the first one launching TODAY until Monday 23rd March.

Love In The Time of Corona

Five new monologues celebrating our incredible communities, created by five of the  UK’s most exciting writers: BAFTA nominee Dawn King, Olivier Award nominee Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Ben Weatherill (Jellyfish, The Bush Theatre and National Theatre, now in development with the BBC), Aisha Zia (No Guts No Heart No Glory, national tour, BBC4, Fringe First Award winner) and Debris Stevenson (Poet In Da Corner, Royal Court and national tour, Evening Standard Best Newcomer nominee). All five writers are currently developing full-length plays for Suba Das’s inaugural HighTide Festival in 2021.

Digital productions of the monologues created by HighTide and featuring some of the most exciting actors in the UK will be made available over the next few weeks. We are pleased to also make the scripts available royalty free for actors and directors to make their own digital versions, which we will be showcased via our social media channels.

Playwright Crisis Support Programme

We are delighted to welcome back some of HighTide’s incredible alumni, including Luke Barnes, Kenny Emson, Anders Lustgarten, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Vinay Patel and Nick Payne to adopt a writer during the crisis. This application-based programme will see a small group of emerging writers be looked after by the HighTide team and an “Alumni Adopter”  over the next 12 weeks. Details on eligibility and how to apply will be shared late next week.

Write That Play

National Theatre Foundation award-winner Dawn King will lead a live-streamed weekly session designed to help new and emerging writers complete a brand new play during the lockdown period.  Places will be limited, with priority given to emerging writers from the East of England; and/or writers from a socio-economically deprived background. Details on how to register will be shared late next week.

40 Plays/40 Nights

Starting on Tuesday 24th March, we will tweet out 40 simple standalone playwriting tasks across a period of time, and invite writers to share their responses online for feedback, discussion and celebration.

Cancellation Catalogue

If your new writing production has had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, please let us know and we will place you on our priority list for programming in the next HighTide Festival, which will take place in Spring/Summer 2021. We are specifically interested in productions created by independent companies not receiving regular subsidy, that were intended to run in spaces of over 75 seats for more than 5 performances.

Let’s Create

In partnership with the Suffolk Young People’s Health Project (4YP) and Company Three’s groundbreaking Coronavirus Time Capsule programme, HighTide will create an online youth theatre space for some of the most vulnerable and isolated young people in the East of England. With sessions and content delivered by some of the UK’s most exciting theatremakers, and linking up similar youth projects all over the world, Let’s Create seeks to widen participants’ horizons, even during a time of lockdown.


We’ll be announcing further details regarding these programmes in the coming weeks. All information will be updated on our website and social channels.