Festival 2013


The HighTide Festival returned to Halesworth, Suffolk for a seventh year from Thursday 2 – Sunday 12 May 2013, presentingt an exciting and vibrant programme of new theatre, platforms and free events.

The 2014 HighTide Festival will be announced in autumn 2013. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear more.

"One of the little gems of the artistic calendar in Britain" The Telegraph



The 2013 Festival is our largest and most diverse programme yet with over 80 individual performances. We will be presenting work from local, national and international playwrights, with five exceptional works of new writing receiving their world premiere at the Festival.

HighTide Festival 2013 highlights include the premiere of the Verity Bargate Award winning Pastoral by Thomas Eccleshare, Smallholding the main stage debut play by Chris Dunkley, two European premieres Moth by Declan Greene and Neighbors by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins following a successful reading at last year’s Festival and Luke Barnes’ acclaimed Bottleneck concludes it national tour at the Festival. 

We are excited to collaborate with Tamasha on Sudha Buchar's new play directed by Ella Hickson, Gate Theatre Associate Director Ellen Mcdougall directs extracts from our six Escalator Plays writers, and Royal Court Theatre International Associate Richard Twyman directs new works by Jessica Sian and Al Smith.

We are thrilled to welcome Hackney Colliery Band, Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, Thom Tuck to the festival for late night events, and Stephen Poliakoff, Roger Michell and Michael Frayn for talks. 

The Plays

Premiere productions:

Neighbors by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins directed by Steven Atkinson. This is a wildly theatrical comedy exploring identity, intolerance and tensions in ‘post-racial‘ America: ‘a savagely funny cartoon of a play about racial identity’ (Variety) A co-production with Nuffield Theatre, Southampton

Pastoral by Thomas Eccleshare directed by Steve Marmion, Artistic Director of Soho Theatre. An inventive and unnervingly original play, winner of the Verity Bargate Award 2011. Anthony Neilson described it as: ‘surreal, hilarious – a genuine piece of theatre.’ A co-production with Soho Theatre.
Smallholding by Chris Dunkley directed by Patrick Sandford, Artistic Director of Nuffield Theatre, Southampton starring Chris New. As Andy and Jen try to make a fresh start, trust, responsibility and bio-dynamic farming challenge their relationship in this darkly comic love story. A co- production with Nuffield Theatre, Southampton.
Moth by Declan Greene directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah. A haunting black comedy about what it means to be young and damaged in a damaging world. The award-winning Moth, one of last year’s most exciting and talked-about shows.’ (Time Out, Melbourne)
Bottleneck by Luke Barnes directed by Steven Atkinson. Bottleneck was first staged as a reading at HighTide 2012 and now returns after performing at Soho Theatre and a UK wide tour. Bottleneck is a vibrant coming of age story about becoming a man through adventures big and small: ‘Bottleneck is an outstanding play by young writer Luke Barnes’ (The Telegraph) ***** (Three Weeks) **** (The Independent, Whatsonstage) 

Other Highlights

We also have a number of visiting companies and artists performing at the Festival including: withWingsEastern AnglesTamasha with Sudha Buchar's new play, Mark Borkowski and the Alfred Fagon award winning Michaela Coel.

Plus, the award-winning theatre company Invertigo stage their take-over of HighTide for two days of ambitious, thought-provoking, lesser-known theatre.

With live music events added to the Festival for the first time (Late Night Jazz with Ronnie Scott's Hackney Colliery Band) alongside the return of comedy nights (Thom Tuck Goes Straight-to-DVD) to the Festival, and much much more this year promises to be our most ambitious yet.