"One of the little gems of the artistic calendar in Britain"The Telegraph
“Famous for championing emerging playwrights and contemporary theatre” Daily Mail
HighTide Festival Theatre is one of the UK’s leading producers of new plays, and the only professional theatre focused on the production of new playwrights. Currently we read and consider around 1000 scripts a year, from which we then work with 100 playwrights on a range of development opportunities, from workshops to full productions.
Under Steven Atkinson, Artistic Director since 2007, we have premièred major productions by playwrights including Ella Hickson, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Nick Payne, Adam Brace, Beth Steel, Laura Poliakoff, Luke Barnes, Vickie Donoghue, Lydia Adetunji and Joel Horwood. We produce several productions a year in our annual Suffolk festival and on tour.
Since 2007 we have staged over fifty productions, working with some of the world's leading theatres in London (including the National Theatre, Bush Theatre, Old Vic Theatre and Soho Theatre), regionally (including Sheffield Theatres, Watford Palace and Southampton Nuffield) and internationally (Public Theater New York and National Play Festival Australia).
The HighTide Festival was founded in 2006/7 by Sam Hodges with Moss Barclay and Lilli Geissendorfer.
HighTide Festival Theatre was founded in 2007 by Steven Atkinson and Sam Hodges. A full production history since 2007 can be foundhere.
HighTide, in partnership with IdeasTap, receives, considers and produces new plays from all around the world. We receive over 1000 unsolicited scripts annually and every play is read. We offer bespoke development opportunities for playwrights throughout the year. TheHighTide Academyis our annual summer-school, working with young people in the East of England to discover new artists and new audiences.
Lansons Communications host our administrative offices in-kind within their Clerkenwell offices. This innovative partnership between a business and charity has won four Corporate Engagement Awards (2012 & 2011), a Social Impact Award, a Arts & Business 2010 award nomination, and has been profiled by theGuardian and the Evening Standard.
HighTide Festival Theatre is a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.
A Brief History
Our 2013 Season includes the premiere of the Verity Bargate Award winning Pastoral by Thomas Eccleshare (a co-production with Soho Theatre), Smallholding, the main stage debut play by Chris Dunkley (a co-production with Nuffield Theatre, Southampton), two European premieres: Moth by Declan Greene (transferring to the Bush Theatre) and Neighbors by the inaugural Tennessee Williams Award recipient Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (a co-production with Nuffield Theatre, Southampton), and Luke Barnes’ acclaimed Bottleneck opened at Soho Theatre and then toured the UK. Later in the year we will premierePhil Porter’s The Reprobates, a new play for young people (a co-production with The Garage, Norwich).
Luke Barne's Bottleneck transferred to Soho Theatre and then toured nationally.
Thomas Eccleshare'sPastoraltransferred to Soho Theatre in a co-production with Soho Theatre.
Branden Jacobs Jenkins'Neighborstransferred to Nuffield Theatre, Southampton in a co-production with the Nuffield Theatre.
Declan Greene'sMothtransferred to the Bush Theatre, presented by David Luff Productions.
Phil Porter's The Reprobates will premiere at the Garage, Norwich before transferring to Thorpeness, Suffolk.
Jack Thorne's adaptation of Alexander Masters' novel Stuart: A Life Backwards will premiere at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival and then tour to the Sheffield Crucible and Watford Palace Theatre.
In HighTide Festival 2012 we premiered eighteen plays in world and European premiere productions by writers including: Luke Barnes, Jon Barton, Ollie Birch, Mike Daisey, Joe Douglas, Vickie Donoghue, Thomas Eccleshare, Kenny Emson, Berri George, Karis Halsall, Nancy Harris, Ella Hickson, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Mona Mansour, Laura Marks, Ian McHugh, Jon McLeod, Shiona Morton Laura Poliakoff, Mahlon Prince, Stella Fawn Ragsdale, Stephanie Street, Philip Wells, Nicola Werenowska, Alexandra Wood.
Ella Hickson's Boys transferred to Nuffield Theatre, Southampton and Soho Theatre in a co-production with the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton and Headlong Theatre.
Vickie Donoghue's Mudlarks transferred to Theatre503 and the Bush Theatre in a co-production with Lucy Jackson.
Luke Barnes' Eisteddfod transferred to the 2012 Latitude Festival.
Ramon Mello's Endless Poem premiered as part of Rio Occupation London, produced by People's Palace Projects and co-produced by BAC.
Joe Douglas' Educating Ronnie transferred to the 2012 Edinburgh Festival, where it won a Fringe First Award, produced in association with macrobert and Utter.
Luke Barnes’ Bottleneck premiered at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival.
In HighTide Festival 2011 we premiered four major productions by Stephen Belber, Adam Brace, Andrew Motion, and a new musical by Richard Marsh & Natalia Sheppard (aka Rogue Nouveau)
Andrew Motion's Incoming transferred to Latitude Festival 2011, the 23rd Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, and by special invitation to the House of Commons in a co-production with the Poetry Trust.
Stephen Belber's Dusk Rings A Bell transferred to the 2011 Edinburgh Festival before transferring to Watford Palace Theatre.
Adam Brace's Midnight Your Time transferred to the 2011 Edinburgh Festival.
In HighTide Festival 2010 we premiered three major productions by Serge Cartwright, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig and Beth Steel.
Serge Cartwright's Moscow Live was shortlisted for the 2010 John Whiting Award.
Beth Steel's Ditch transferred to The Old Vic Tunnels in London, in a co-production with The Old Vic Theatre, in May 2010. Ditch was shortlisted for the 2010 John Whiting Award.
Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's Lidless transferred to the 2010 Edinburgh Festival, where it won a Fringe First Award before transferring to the Trafalgar Studios, London in March 2011.
Dominic Mitchell's The Theatre EP, conceived by Natalie Ibu, premiered at Latitude Festival 2010, Suffolk.
In HighTide Festival 2009 we premiered three major productions by Lydia Adetunji, Lucy Caldwell and Jesse Weaver.
Lydia Adetunji's Fixer and Adam Brace's Stovepipe transferred to the National Play Festival in Brisbane, Australia, in January 2010.
Fixer was shortlisted for the Meyer Whitworth Award. It was revived in a new production at Oval House Theatre in June 2011.
In HighTide Festival 2009 we premiered four major productions by Adam Brace, Joel Horwood, Nick Payne, and the fourth by Emily Watson-Howes and You Need Me.
Joel Horwood's I Caught Crabs in Walberswick transferred to the 2008 Edinburgh Festival, a UK tour, and the Bush Theatre, in a co-production with Eastern Angles.
Adam Brace's Stovepipe transferred to the West 12 Centre in London as a found- space production in collaboration with the National Theatre and Bush Theatre in March 2009. The Sunday Times listed this as one of The Ten Best Theatre Productions of the Decade.
Emily Watson Howes' Certain Dark Things transferred to the 2009 Edinburgh Festival produced by You Need Me and was nominated for the 2009 Total Theatre Award.
Nick Payne's The Pitch premiered at Latitude Festival 2008, Suffolk.
In HighTide Festival 2007 we premiered eight short plays by Tom Basden, Steven Bloomer, Sarah Cuddon, Sam Holcroft, Matthew Morrison, Pericles Snowdon, Megan Walsh and Iain Weatherby.