Theatre company to premiere five shows at the Fringe

A theatre company is to present five world premiere productions at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Steven Atkinson, co-founder and artistic director of HighTide, has revealed the company will then transfer them to its Aldeburgh and Walthamstow Festivals, as part of a brand-new mentoring scheme for new playwrights and producers.

The launch of the programme marks the company’s commitment to creating a bridge that supports new theatre makers starting out on the fringe and is indicative of festival’s proven ability in providing a platform for launching professional careers with the UK’s leading theatres.

Steven said: ‘The fringe remains the key development ground for new writers and producers, so HighTide helping these artists to make the most of it artistically and as a launch pad is an exciting new element of HighTide’s unique work in championing new talent.

‘In then presenting the plays at our Aldeburgh and Walthamstow festivals, HighTide can both further support the artists in their career development and also ensure a wide range of audiences see the work.’

Over more than a decade HighTide has built a reputation for commissioning and producing the country’s best new playwrights at its festival in Aldeburgh, and in theatres across the UK.

HighTide’s centrepiece production, co-produced with their associate company DugOut Theatre, is a song-laced coming of age tale by Aldeburgh-based writer Tallulah Brown called Songlines, and features live folk music from the award-winning band Trills.

HighTide’s associate productions selected through an open script submission process are: Sparks; Jessica Butcher’s two-hander musical about the brain’s response to grief; Danusia Samal’s gig-theatre piece Busking It, drawing on a decade of busking on the tube; The Extinction Event from David Aula and Simon Evans an examination of what happens when science starts thinking for itself; and finally, Harry Blake’s fierce, fabulous new comedy musical about Norse gods Thor and Loki.

In a new partnership for HighTide, four productions will be presented by the Pleasance. The partnership is part of a wider commitment by both organisations to increase support to new writing across the Fringe and wider Festival circuits. Songlines, Sparks, Busking It and The Extinction Event will run at Pleasance throughout August. Thor and Loki will run at Assembly.