HighTide in London

Sandra Giorgetti

This year HighTide Festival takes place in both Suffolk and London.

Artistic director Steven Atkinson will transfer this year's productions from Aldeburgh East London’s Walthamstow, an area known to have low levels of engagement with theatre largely attributable to having no mid- to large-scale theatre spaces, and with the arts generally.

It is a move that reflects the company's interests in developing opportunities for new writers, transferring work and increasing audiences.

Amongst the works playing both venues are two world premières: Theatre Clwyd co-production Heroine by Nessah Muthy directed by Atkinson and comic drama Kanye The First by Sam Steiner directed by HighTide Theatre associate director Andrew Twyman.

Heroine looks at patriotism and nativism through the story of a young ex-soldier as she struggles to reassimilate into society following a medical discharge from the army, whilst Kanye The First uses pop icon Kanye West to explore identity and guilt. This is a co-production between HighTide Theatre and Paul Jellis in association with The Marlowe and The North Wall.

​Theresa Ikoko’s award winning Girls, which tells the story of three young friends who are kidnapped in Nigeria, returns to HighTide in a co-production with Talawa Theatre Company and Martha Rose Wilson.

In addition, there are preview productions of new commissions and site-specific work. The programme will showcase a number of local companies and artists and includes comedy from Phil Wang, Suzi Ruffell and Jayde Adams. Cabaret comes in the form of Joe Stilgoe, The Beatbox Collective and Arthur Darvill.

Reflecting Walthamstow's younger than average population and increasing number of families with young children, the line-up includes shows for pre-school children and for the school-aged, including Little Angel Theatre’s Me… and Shark in the Park!.

The Festival in Aldeburgh runs from 12 to 17 September and the Walthamstow Festival runs from 26 September to 8 October. Free and discounted tickets are available to those with a Waltham Forest postcode.