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London calling as annual seaside theatre festival reveals capital initiative

HighTide 2017 Aldeburgh, artist's impression. Picture: SKA

HighTide 2017 Aldeburgh, artist's impression. Picture: SKA

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Organisers of an annual Suffolk theatre festival have revealed plans to take this year’s shows on the road for a new venture.

Girls, by Theresa Ikoko. Picture: NOBBY CLARKGirls, by Theresa Ikoko. Picture: NOBBY CLARK

The Hightide Festival takes place in Aldeburgh from September 12-17, featuring a dozen comedy and cabaret shows, premieres, school performances and talks.

Much of the programme will then be transferred to a temporary theatre space in East London for the first Walthamstow Festival, from September 26 to October 8.

Diverse programmes in each location include three headline plays Heroine, Kanye The First and Girls.

HighTide Theatre’s artistic director, Steven Atkinson, promised the festival, which marked its 10th year in 2016, would continue to showcase the best new playwrights at its home in Aldeburgh, before transferring productions to an area of London which currently lacks mid to large scale theatre spaces, and where there are relatively low levels of engagement with theatre.

“This year, we’re focused on what HighTide Theatre is renowned for commissioning bold and timely plays from the best new writers,” he added.

“We look forward to developing and previewing these world premiere productions in our beautiful home of Aldeburgh, and then, for the first time, bringing the whole festival to Walthamstow, alongside showcasing work by local artists.

“This new producing model for HighTide Theatre, of two festivals, allows us to take risks and continue to develop our productions with the input of our audiences in Aldeburgh. And then, our new partnership with Waltham Forest Council and the National Theatre enables us to bring our fully formed productions all together to Greater London, where they can be seen by a wider and diverse community who would like a greater cultural provision in their area.”

HighTide Theatre will present two world premieres in 2017 Heroine by Nessah Muthy and comic drama Kanye The First by Sam Steiner.

Theresa Ikoko’s award-winning Girls will also tell the tale of three young friends kidnapped in Nigeria. Meanwhile, an ancillary programme includes comedy, conversations between Kate Mosse, Sheila Hancock and Michael Morpurgo, music and plays.

Visit hightide.org.uk for full details.

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