HighTide Script Reading Service

During challenging and isolating times for artists, we are pleased to offer a new service to keep playwrights engaged and moving forwards with their practice. Led by our Artistic Director and 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.

“This is a simple gesture, but we hope it’s meaningful for writers out there to know theatre companies remain interested in hearing what they have to say. We’re changing the way reading processes usually work in the UK by making sure writers know who our readers are, handing back some power to those who submit. It feels vital that writers, especially those from marginalised backgrounds, know their work is held carefully and considered by truly diverse, and world-class readers who may share their experiences and perspectives. It feels totally right that this is how we now announce our brand new set of Associate Artists and I’m unbelievably honoured to have Aisha Zia, Chinonyerem Odimba, Chris Sonnex and the incredible team at The Queer House joining me on this new journey.” (Suba Das)

Submission Windows

Submission windows of 2 – 3 days will be open over the coming months for writers to submit their work to us. Our team of Associate Artists will then read and feedback in the following week.

Our next submission window will be open at the end of April/beginning of May. Check back here or on our social channels nearer the time for exact dates.

The process

Writers can submit their scripts (plays intended for the stage) to us by emailing them to literary@hightide.org.uk.

Our readers will be reading and feeding back on as many scripts as possible in the following week.

Writers must include in their email:

      • Script (attached as PDF or Word)
      • Postcode
      • Reader preference (first, second and third)*
      • Writers must also fill in the Equal Opportunities Monitoring form here

    *It is important to us that writers feel confident that their work will be read by artists who will best understand and connect with their work. Biographies for each of the readers are provided below and we ask that you note down your first, second, third choice for reader. Of course if you have no preference, that is absolutely fine! You don’t need to put any preference down.

    Written feedback will be provided vie e-mail in the week following the submission window. We cannot guarantee any further feedback or development at this stage. We also endeavour to provide feedback to all that submit, however, depending on demand it may not be possible to respond to every writer in each window.

    HighTide will be administrating all submissions and removing names of scripts before sharing with the readers. Therefore, if you would like to submit your work anonymously please ensure your name is not included in your script file.


    Our readers are will be our Artistic Director Suba Das and our newly appointed Associate Artists. They are a talented range of diverse artists working in the sector and include writers, directors and producers.

    Aisha Zia

    Aisha Zia is an award-winning playwright from Peterborough, former resident artist at Somerset House Studios in London and a Theatre 503 503Five alumna. She has toured site- specific plays across the UK having had huge success with her plays No Guts, No Heart, No Glory (Winner of Scotsman Fringe First Award, shortlisted for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Awards) and Our Glass House (Winner of the Special Commendation from Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Awards) with Common Wealth.

    Aisha’s work engages young and diverse participants across the UK. Her work is dedicated to non-theatre audiences and has a strong proven track record of working in communities to deliver high-quality artistic work, using her unique approach to testimonial theatre. She is interested in real people and real stories that impact our lives today. Her work with Good Chance Theatre led her to set up the new art gallery and social platform  62 Gladstone St in Peterborough which showcases the work of British Muslim artists. Aisha will present new work at the HighTide Festival in 2021 and is currently also under commission from Contact Theatre in Manchester, Fuel in London and Ripe Time in New York.

    Chinonyerem Odimba

    Chinonyerem Odimba is a playwright, Theatre director and poet. Her work for theatre includes Joanne and Amongst the Reeds for Clean Break / The Yard, a modern retelling of Twist for Theatre Centre, and Medea at Bristol Old Vic. More recent commissions have seen her work produced at Hampstead Theatre, Kiln Theatre, Live Theatre, and Watermill Theatre and Vaults Festival. Her work has been shortlisted for several awards including the Adrienne Benham Award, Alfred Fagon Award, and the Bruntwood Playwriting Award. She is winner of the 2018 Sonia Friedman Award for a new play ‘How to Walk on the Moon’ written for Channel 4/Talawa Theatre.

    The Queer House

    The Queer House is an artists’ agency and producing house for queer actors, writers, and makers and are an associate company at the Gate Theatre.

    The Queer House debut double bill of shows, Pink Lemonade/Since U Been Gone, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019 as part of a co-production with HighTide where they were included in The Stage 18 best shows and The Guardian top picks of the Fringe. Pink Lemonade will transfer to the Bush Theatre in July 2020.

    Recent credits for its artists include The Nevers (HBO); January 22nd (BBC/HBO); Cyrano de Bergerac (West End); HANNA (Amazon Prime); I’ll Take You to Mrs Cole! (Complicité); Malory Towers (Wise Children); Them! (National Theatre Scotland); Pah-La (Royal Court); And The Rest of Me Floats (Bush Theatre); Cuckoo (Soho); Dear Elizabeth (Gate Theatre) and The Feed (Amazon Prime).

    Chris Sonnex

    Chris Sonnex was previously Artistic Director of the Bunker Theatre and Artistic Associate for The Royal Court. Chris used these roles to champion underrepresented artists and to mentor them and their work. It is important for Chris that the industry is representative of the London council estate he grew up on and that those stories are enabled to soar regardless of class, race, disability, gender and sexuality. For his work at The Bunker, he was selected as one of The Stage 100 2020, awarded Artistic Director of the year at the 2020 Off West End awards. The Bunker also won best programming policy at the same awards and was awarded Best Fringe Theatre at the Stage Awards. Chris is also an award nominated Director.

    If you have any questions regarding script reading submissions, please e-mail us on literary@hightide.org.uk.