When: 26th September – 8th October 2017
Where: Walthamstow, East London
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event.
What is it?
This year, HighTide Festival will be bringing their new and adventurous theatre to Walthamstow in East London, from Tuesday 26th September to Sunday 8th October.
The festival will take place in a temporary theatre space known as ‘The Mix’, taking up residence in the town centre for 12 days, and bringing an eclectic arts programme to an area of London which currently has no mid to large-scale theatre spaces, and where there are consequently relatively low levels of engagement with theatre.
The festival’s diverse programme will include three headline plays (two of which are world premieres) and a programme of comedy, cabaret, talks and music.
HighTide Theatre will present two world premiere productions, Heroine by Nessah Muthy and comic drama Kanye The First by Sam Steiner. A co-production with Theatre Clwyd, Muthy’s devastating exploration of patriotism and nativism in modern Britain follows young ex-soldier Grace as she struggles to reassimilate into society following a medical discharge from the army. Steiner’s first commissioned, and highly original, play will chart the second coming of global pop icon Kanye West. The play takes a timely look at identity and guilt in contemporary culture. Kanye The First is a co-production between HighTide Theatre and Paul Jellis in association with The Marlowe and The North Wall.
Alongside these productions Theresa Ikoko’s Girls, winner of the George Devine Award (2016), and the Alfred Fagon Award (2015), is set to return. Telling the tale of three young friends who are kidnapped in Nigeria, Ikoko wrote Girls to highlight the stories behind the headlines that quickly become yesterday’s news. Girls is a co-production between HighTide Theatre, Talawa Theatre Company and Martha Rose Wilson.
The move to bring the Festival to the heart of Walthamstow will enable Waltham Forest Council and HighTide Theatre to showcase work of the highest quality on people’s doorsteps in an area where 55% of residents are classed within low cultural engagement segments, as well as enabling the borough to develop partnerships beneficial to the area’s cultural sector.
Free and discounted tickets are available to those with a Waltham Forest postcode and HighTide Theatre will be working to help young people find routes into creative roles, in collaboration with local organisation Big Creative Training, hosting a traineeship and work experience placements.
The full programme in Walthamstow will include a late night comedy and cabaret strand, a series of talks, a site-specific production, Mobile, and a strand of work showcasing and supporting local creative talent. The comedy line-up is set to include: Phil Wang, Suzi Ruffell, Dane Baptiste, Tez Ilyas and Jayde Adams. Cabaret and music artists include Joe Stilgoe who will perform Songs on Film, The Beatbox Collective and an exclusive preview of new music from Arthur Darvill.
Waltham Forest has a younger than average population, with increasing numbers of families with young children moving to the area so there will be shows for pre-school children and for school groups. Family work includes Little Angel Theatre’s Me… about a tiny baby penguin, Shark in the Park! based on the books by Nick Sharratt, and Waltham Forest based BeBop Baby with DJ sets from Nostalgia 77 and friends to get your minis up and dancing. The festival will showcase a number of local companies and artists including The Vanishing Man co-written and performed by Walthamstow resident David Aula and director Simon Evans.
In a continuation of HighTide Theatre’s mission to develop new writers, this year the festival will also showcase two preview productions before they go on to be developed as part of the 2018 Festival. The debut commissions from Sophie Ellerby and Jon Barton are written under HighTide Theatre’s First Commissions scheme. Alongside the preview productions there will be a series of first play readings from HighTide Theatre First Commission writers, an annual programme working with six writers, paired with Associate Artists to develop ideas from conception to full production.
More info: www.hightide.org.uk