New Season Announcement

New Season Announcement

Posted on March 29th, 2023

Today we are announcing the first season of work programmed by new Artistic Director Clare Slater, as she sets out a refreshed Artistic Mission for the company.  Building on our celebrated legacy as a new writing company, we are reshaping to become wholly writer-centred, with a deeper, more focused commitment to playwrights.

Based in the east of England, our renewed focus will be on nurturing and producing work from the pool of playwriting talent in the region, working in collaboration with local partners, to create a thriving community of playwrights in the east.  

As a touring company, we are also taking this moment to prioritise climate careful practices and to show that it is not only possible but creatively exhilarating to become a decarbonised company by 2030. 

Clare Slater, said today: I couldn’t be more proud of my first season of work as Artistic Director at HighTide. I’ve spent over 15 years working as a Dramaturg and believe that playwrights are our truth-tellers.  They have a significant part to play in shaping the cultural narrative, and this season begins our new commitment to the exceptional playwriting talent in our home region of the East of England.  It is also shaped by our new practice of climate dramaturgy, led by me and our Associate Artist, Zoë Svendsen.  

Be it in a country barn, on the beach, on tour all across the East, or at the Globe in London, the HighTide team and I invite you to come and experience the joy and power of inspiring stories from this evocative, but often overlooked, region.”

With all the work by writers who come from, or live in, the eastern region, the new season includes:

  • HighTide Rising, an informal and intimate one-day play reading festival on 20 May, hosted by leading playwrights Lucy Kirkwood and Juliet Gilkes Romero in the beautiful, countryside location of Wingfield Barns near Diss, mid-Suffolk.


  • Herring Girls: Greater Than We Are Alone is a unique, community choir song cycle, commissioned by HighTide, celebrating the legacy of the herring girls’ protest over fair pay on Lowestoft beach in 1936 – to be performed on that same beach as part of First Light Festival on 17 June.


  • An East of England tour of Ghost Stories by Candlelight, created by East Anglian playwrights opens on Friday 13 October at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Ghost Stories by Candlelight will then transfer for a short run to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe in late autumn


  • The launch of HighTide’s East of England Playwrights’ Community, co-created with writers in the region.  Including workshops, peer to peer conversations, mentoring opportunities and career surgeries, it hopes to create a thriving community of playwrights across the region. 

We have also established a new Strategic Partnership with the University of East Anglia (UEA) which will enable points of creative collaboration, to support playwrights and artists in the region, and further their shared ambitions for climate positive action.

Also joining us are Zoë Svendsen as an Associate Artist, Emma Butler Smith as new Executive Director/Joint CEO and Nicola Werenowska as Writer in Residence in 2023, supported by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation/Film 4 Playwrights’ Award Scheme.