Countdown on for Halesworth High Tide Festival

A festival that is known for launching fresh and emerging playwrights and contemporary theatre returns to Halesworth next week.

The High Tide Festival has previously sent award-winning plays to London and to The Edinburgh Festival, and this year's four acts will be hoping for similar success.

It has previously been held over a long-weekend but the festival's fifth instalment has been extended into a two-week showcase and will feature a European premiere, the playwright debut of a former poet laureate and a hip-hop musical based on Nick Clegg.

It starts on Thursday, April 28 with the premiere of Dusk Rings A Bell, written by Stephen Belber and starring Paul Blair.

The second play will see former poet laureate Andrew Motion make his debut with a controversial work about the war in Afghanistan. His play Incoming examines how hard it can be for those left behind and the disturbing issues of war.

One of the highlights of the festival is set to be the eagerly awaited production of Nicked. The musical is based on Nick Clegg's role in the formation of the coalition government and features a 'rap off' between David Cameron and his backbenchers.

Steven Atkinson, the artistic director of the HighTide Festival, said the musical will follow 'the rise and fall of Nick Clegg'.

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He said: 'The genesis of it comes from a writer called Richard Marsh. He is a left-wing performance poet and has teamed up with DJ Natalia Sheppard who has given it an urban score.'

The final play of the season is Midnight Your Time by Adam Brace and will star Diana Quick.

The High Tide Festival, which this year was added to the Arts Council's list of regularly funded organisations, takes place at the Cut from April 28 to May 8.

For more details visit or call 020 7566 9780.

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