HighTide will be presenting five brand-new productions at Edinburgh Fringe 2018 before transferring them to its festivals in Walthamstow and Aldeburgh on The Suffolk Coast.
Steven Atkinson, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of HighTide, has today announced that the company will present five world premiere productions at this year’s 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 commitment to creating a bridge that supports new theatre makers starting out on the fringe and is indicative of festival’s proven ability in providing a platform for launching professional careers with the UK’s leading theatres.
Steven Atkinson said: ‘The fringe remains the key development ground for new writers and producers, so HighTide helping these artists to make the most of it artistically and as a launch pad is an exciting new element of HighTide’ s unique work in championing new talent. In then presenting the plays at our Aldeburgh and Walthamstow festivals, HighTide can both further support the artists in their career development and also ensure a wide range of audiences see the work.’
Over more than a decade HighTide has built a reputation for commissioning and producing the country’s best new playwrights at its festival in Aldeburgh, and in theatres across the UK. Last year the company launched the Festival in London’s Walthamstow, recognising both the opportunity for new plays to be seen by as wide an audience as possible, and the lack of performance venues in the borough. The ten-day event welcomed over 6,000 new audiences and following this year will return in 2019 as part of Waltham Forest’s London Borough of Culture programme.
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, and 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.
In a new partnership for HighTide, four productions will be presented by the Pleasance. The partnership is part of a wider commitment by both organisations to increase support to new writing across the Fringe and wider Festival circuits. Songlines, Sparks, Busking It and The Extinction Event will run at Pleasance throughout August. Thor and Loki will run at Assembly.
Songlines by Tallulah Brown, directed by George Chilcott, will be presented by HighTide and DugOut Theatre. Interwoven with live folk songs from award winning band TRILLS, Songlines follows Stevie and Stan, in a coming-of-age love story in all its awkward teen glory. Tallullah is part of the Channel 4 Screenwriting Scheme and recent theatre includes: Seafret, After the Heat We Battle for the Heart and Staring at You.
Songlines is Tallulah’s first commissioned full length play. George is Artistic Director and Founder of DugOut Theatre, and formerly an Associate Director at HighTide.
Sparks by Jessica Butcher with original music by Anoushka Lucas, directed by Jessica Edwards, will be presented by Michelle Barnette Productions and Flipping the Bird with HighTide. Sparks is a two-hander musical about the brain's response to grief. This will be Jessica Butcher’s debut play. Jessica Edwards recently directed Denim World Tour and has been associate to Jamie Lloyd on The Maids and Doctor Faustus.
Busking It by Danusia Samal, directed by Guy Jones, will be presented in association with HighTide and Shoreditch Town Hall. Drawing on a Danusia’s decade busking on the tube, this piece of gig-theatre gives voices to passers-by, blending chance encounters with live music. Danusia is has performed at theatres including the Royal Court, RSC, The Globe, Soho Theatre and Manchester Exchange. She is a Resident Playwright with Tamasha. Guy’s directing credits include Mayfly (Orange Tree) and Spokesong (Finborough). He is Literary Associate of the Orange Tree and has been an Associate Artist of Company Three.
The Extinction Event written and directed by David Aula and Simon Evans will be presented by SEDA and Glynis Henderson Productions in association with HighTide. After 60 minutes, mankind will vanish. Hypnotist magicians David Aula and Simon Evans present an examination of what happens when science starts thinking for itself. Not the story of a magic trick. The story of real magic.
David’s previous work includes The Cement Garden which headlined VAULT, Personal Enemy – 59E59 NYC and Meat. Simon’s work includes The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Donmar Warehouse and Bug and The Dazzle both at Found 111. The pair most recently collaborated on The Vanishing Man.
Thor and Loki by Harry Blake, directed by Eleanor Rhode, and created with award-winning cabaret duo House of Blakewell, will be presented by Vicky Graham Productions in association with HighTide and Something For The Weekend. Thor and Loki is a fierce, fabulous new comedy musical rooted in Norse mythology. War rages and the apocalypse approaches, but an unlikely friendship emerges as audiences follow Thor and Loki’s quest to change the world. Harry is an award-winning composer, lyricist and sound designer.
He was Resident Composer at West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2017 and was the first composer appointed to the OLD VIC 12. Eleanor is an Associate Artist for HighTide, recent work includes Teddy (currently at the Vaults) and Boudica at Shakespeare’s Globe.
HighTide Festival 2018 runs in Aldeburgh from 11th - 16th September, full details for the programme will be announced in June. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.hightide.org.uk
For places to stay in and around Aldeburgh during the festival, click here!