The third annual High Tide theatre festival at Halesworth in Suffolk, which kicks off on 27 April for 14 days, is premiering three new plays that have been hand-picked and developed from over 650 scripts. The chosen writers – Lucy Caldwell for her second play Guardians, Jesse Weaver and Lydia Adetunji for their debut plays Muhmah and Fixer respectively – were paired up with young directors, designers and actors and given mentors to help them from the first draft through to finished, final productions.
One of the company's most notable success stories so far is Stovepipe – a hit at last year's festival, currently finishing a run at London's Bush theatre – which has helped fuel continued interest from the industry. "We build from the writer outwards and I know that a lot of the industry will be coming to see what we're putting on," says joint artistic director Samuel Hodges who helped set up the company. "An important part of what we do is introducing the next generation to leading directors and writers so we've got also got the masters performing who act as inspiration and bring in a crowd."
Those masters include Stephen Daldry directing David Hare performing his own one-off double bill of Berlin and Wall, National Theatre director Katie Mitchell directing One Evening, a fully staged performance of Samuel Beckett's poetry with Schubert's song cycle Winterreise inspired by Beckett's love of Schubert's songs and Anthony Minghella: a Life in Words, where a panel of his closest colleagues and collaborators will remember the great man's work. An enticing mix of the old guard and a glimpse into the future.
The HighTide festival runs from 27 April to 10 May; www.hightide.org.uk